PolyOne Corporation announces quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation has declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD0.08 per share on the common stock outstanding, to be paid on October 3, 2014, to stockholders of record on September 12, 2014, reported the company on its site.

As MRC wrote before, earlier, the Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD0.08 per share on the common stock outstanding to be paid on July 2, 2014, to stockholders of record on June 13, 2014.

We remind that PolyOne Corporation has recently announced the addition of new capabilities to its OnColor HC Plus portfolio. These expanded offerings add medical-grade LDPE, nylon, PEBA, PS and PVC to the globally available palette of specialty healthcare colorants, and are pre-certified to meet or exceed biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993 and/or USP Class VI protocols.

PolyOne Corporation, with 2013 revenues of USD3.8 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.

PS exports from Russia increased twofold in first six months of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exports of general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) from Russia increased more than twofold in the first half of the year, compared with the same time a year earlier, as per MRC DataScope.

Total exports of HIPS and GPPS from Russia were 45,100 tonnes in January-June 2014, compared with 20,000 tonnes year on year. The increase in export shipments resulted from the increased production capacities of Russian companies and the growth of production volumes.
Total HIPS exports from Russia were 26,400 tonnes over the reported period, which was two times higher than in January-June 2013. The main consumer of Russian HIPS was Turkey, with 6,800 tonnes exported. Whereas in 2013 the main HIPS exports occurred for Ukraine. Exports of Russian HIPS in Ukraine in January-June 2014 were 4,500 tonnes, down 16% year on year. A new direction for the Russian high-impact polystyrene was Egypt, with more than 6,000 tonnes exported.

At the same time Ukraine remained the biggest importer of Russian GPPS. Total exports of Russian GPPS in Ukraine were 5,600 tonnes in January-June 2014, up 27% year on year.

HDPE production in Russia decreased by 15% in the first half of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's production of high density polyethylene (HDPE)(in Russia decreased by 15% in the the first six months of this year.
The shutdown of Stavrolen was the main reason for the reduction in production volumes, according to a MRC ScanPlast.

June HDPE production in Russia grew to 69,000 tonnes. In general, Russia's HDPE production totalled 442,000 tonnes in January - June 2014, compared with 518,700 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. Production growth at Kazanorgsintez and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat did not offset the shutdown of Stavrolen.

Structure of HDPE production over the reported period was as follows. The most significant increase in production was seen at Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (Gazprom), at the same time because of a number of reasons, the company still has not reached the level of 100% capacity utilisation. Producer's HDPE production grew to 51,600 tonnes in the first six months of the year, up 42% year-on-year.

The largest PE producer in Russia - Kazanorgsintez (Taif) kept the loading of capacity utilisation in June at the May level; June HDPE production at Kazanorgsintez was 42,500 tonnes. Total HDPE production at Kazanorgsintez in the first six months of 2014 grew to 262,700 tonnes, up 8% year on year.

The third largest HDPE producer in Russia - Nizhnekamskneftekhim (Taif) produced 79,400 tonnes in January - June of this year, compared with 84,800 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. The reduction in HDPE production resulted from the switching to linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) production in March - April.

We remind that the second largest producer of HDPE in Russia - Stavrolen (LUKOIL) shut its polymer production because of the accidence at ethylene production in late February. Company officials said the company would resume HDPE production in January 2015.


Eni chief angers Unions with plan to close refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new chief executive of Eni, the Italian energy giant, has put himself on a collision course with workers and possibly the Italian government with a plan to close much of the company’s unprofitable refinery network in Italy, said the New York Times.

Claudio Descalzi, who was named chief executive in May, has told union leaders that the refineries most likely to be closed are those at Gela in Sicily, Taranto in the Puglia region, and Livorno in Tuscany, according to local news reports. Together they account for about 40% of Eni’s refining capacity in Italy and employ more than 1,500 people.

Beside taking on the unions, Mr. Descalzi must secure the approval of the body that appointed him, the Italian government, which owns a 30% controlling stake in Eni.

According to local news reports, workers at the Gela refinery have staged protests, including the seizure on Wednesday of a terminal that receives natural gas from Libya. But some financial analysts say that Mr. Descalzi’s proposal is long overdue, one that should be emulated by other European energy companies.

Eni’s refineries are an unwanted legacy for a company that over the past few years has been shifting to the more lucrative business of finding and producing oil and natural gas. Mr. Descalzi led Eni’s exploration and production unit under his predecessor as chief executive, Paolo Scaroni, when the company made large discoveries off Mozambique and Norway, among other places.

With demand for petroleum products falling, the Eni unit that refines crude oil has lost an average of more than 100 million euros, or about USD136 million, each quarter since 2009. The marketing side of the business is profitable, partly offsetting the losses.

Those losses are thought to have amounted to EUR800 million last year alone and are likely to continue. Demand for refined products in Italy is continuing to fall, and Eni’s refineries are not as efficient as those of rivals, according to Bernstein.

Eni’s competitors face many of the same pressures. European refiners are being squeezed by weak economies; competition from United States refiners, which have access to cheaper oil and gas from shale; and new, more efficient refineries in the Middle East and Asia. Industry executives and analysts agree that Europe has too much capacity, but it is politically difficult to shut refineries and lay off workers, often in regions that are already hurting from declines in other industries.

So far, the protests against Mr. Descalzi’s plans have been relatively minor. Eni may try to appease the affected workers by offering them jobs elsewhere in the company, and by converting refinery sites to logistics depots or to serve other uses. A refinery at Venice, for example, has already been converted to process biofuels.

As MRC wrote before, Eni is open to talks with Gazprom about a possible partnership in Mozambique but is not aware of any interest from the Russian state gas monopoly in buying a stake in its gas assets there. Eni retains 50% of what is its biggest-ever gas discovery. The Mamba field holds an estimated 75 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Eni is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. It has operations in in 79 countries, and is currently Italy's largest industrial company with a market capitalization of 68 billion euros (USD 90 billion), as of August 14, 2013. The Italian government owns a 30.3% golden share in the company, 3.93% held through the state Treasury and 26.37% held through the Cassa depositi e prestiti. Another 39.40% of the shares are held by BNP Paribas.

Chevron expects second-quarter profit to rise

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The No. 2 U.S. oil company Chevron Corp expects second-quarter profit to rise as asset sales in Chad and elsewhere offset spiking currency charges, said Reuters.

Output from oil and natural gas wells rose in the United States but slipped internationally due to the shutdown of an Angolan liquefied natural gas project and repairs at its Kazakhstan operations.

Chevron, which operates in about 180 countries, expects foreign currency exchange charges to soar to as much as USD300 million for the second quarter from USD79 million in the first quarter. Still, the company sold assets in Chad and other regions during the period, and expects to record asset sale gains of as much as USD600 million.

Chevron expects its profit to "be higher" in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, when it posted net income of USD4.51 billion.

Chevron's average U.S. oil and natural gas production rose to 665,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in April and May from an average 659,000 for the entire fourth quarter. Worldwide, output fell, with the company producing 1.90 million boed in April and May, up from 1.92 million boed in the entire first quarter.

Chevron is scheduled to report quarterly results on August 1. Its shares fell slightly to USD129.95 in after-hours trading.

As MRC wrote before, Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) received approval from its board of directors and obtained an environmental permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to expand normal alpha olefins (NAO) production capacity at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

Chevron Phillips Chemica, headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas (north of Houston), US,l is one of the world’s top producers of olefins and polyolefins and a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, piping, and proprietary plastics. Chevron and Phillips 66 each own 50% of Chevron Phillips Chemical.