PET imports to Russia fell five times in January and February 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into Russia fell in January and February by five times year on year and totalled 8,140 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope report.

February imports rose by 23% from January to 4,500 tonnes. Shanghai Hengyi Polyester accounted for the largest PET imports to Russia.

There was a decrease in imports from Lithuania in January and February. Thus, about 600 tonnes of Neo Group's PET were shipped into the market. The porducer reduced its supplies to 122 tonnes in February. The depreciation of the euro against the dollar will lead to an increase in demand for European material. Imports of Lithuanian PET have been low so far.

PET imports to Russia are expected to fall this year. The rouble devaluation, unpredictability of the foreign currency exchange rate at the time of the imported material receipt, as well as the expansion of PET production capacities in Ufa were the reasons for lower purchasing in foreign markets. Russian companies will increase their consumption of domestic material in 2015 at the expense of imported material.


SPVC imports in Russia sharply declines; exports remains high

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) continues to decline sharply, having dropped to less than 300 tonnes in February of this year. At the same time, a weak rouble allows to keep strong exports, according to MRC DataScope.

February SPVC imports in Russia dropped below 300 tonnes amid seasonally low demand and weak rouble, compared with more than 700 tonnes in January. Export sales of Russian SPVC, on the contrary, because of the high dollar remained at a high level and in February reached about 5,000 tonnes, excluding deliveries to Belarus.
The main volume of imports in February occurred for Chinese Chinese PVC and amounted to about 260 tonnes. The remaining volumes occurred for the resin from Europe and were delivered in Kaliningrad. Imports of US PVC into Russia have not been done since December 2014.

As it was reported earlier, in February 2014 imports of SPVC in the country were 14,300 tonnes. February SPVC exports from Russia slightly dropped. Total SPVC exports from the country in February were about 5,000 tonnes, compared with 5,600 tonnes in January. The decline in SPVC sales occurred for Ukraine and Iraq, while shipments to India remained practically at the January level. SPVC imports in Russia is expected to be at zero in March taking into account lower prices and more than sufficient supply from Russian producers. Growing demand in the domestic market will not allow to significantly increase exports.


Exxon Mobil slips back

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The market capitalization of Exxon Mobil Corp., putting it closer to dropping to the fourth-largest U.S.-listed company, reported The Wall Street Journal.

For nearly all of the past decade, Exxon Mobil Corp. has ranked first- or second-largest by market capitalization.

With the tumble in oil prices, Exxon’s perch among U.S.-listed companies has become precarious. The oil-and-gas giant’s market capitalization fell 3.3% last week to USD359.19 billion and is down 8.8% since 17 February.

According to S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Howard Silverblatt, the last time Exxon finished the year outside the top three in the market-cap rankings was in 1999, when it was fifth. Then, Microsoft Corp. topped the charts at USD604 billion and Exxon was No. 5 at USD278 billion.

Exxon’s standing among the largest companies that trade publicly on U.S. markets has been under pressure the past three months as the price of oil slid. Late last year Microsoft moved Exxon out of second. It was the first time in a decade Exxon wasn’t first or second. Microsoft, though, sold off sharply after its quarterly report in January, falling to fifth by market cap. It’s currently around USD347.5 billion.

As MRC wrote previously, Exxon Mobil Corp. shook off the chill of sanctions and continued to snap up drilling rights in Russia last year, giving it more exploration holdings in Vladimir Putin’s backyard than in the US. Taking the long view, Exxon boosted its Russian holdings to 63.7 million acres in 2014 from 11.4 million at the end of 2014, according to data from US regulatory filings. That dwarfs the 14.6 million acres of rights Exxon holds in the U.S., which until last year was its largest exploration prospect.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Hungary refiner MOL targets downstream M&A, seeks 10% expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mol Nyrt., the Hungarian oil refiner which posted its biggest quarterly loss in more than five years, is seeking to raise production by 10% this year and resume acquisitions after crude prices slumped, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"We will assess every downstream acquisition possibility in the region" and "I hope we can make announcements in this respect this year," Ferenc Horvath, Mol’s executive vice president in charge of refining and marketing, said in an interview Tuesday.

The company seeks to raise the amount of retail products it sells in central and eastern Europe to 5.4 billion liters a year by 2017 from 4.3 billion liters, Horvath said.

Hungary’s largest listed company had a 68.6 billion forint (USD254 million) net loss in the three months ending December, compared with a 5.2 billion forint profit a year earlier, it said in a regulatory statement on Tuesday. One-time items, including the revaluation of oil reserves, caused the loss, the results showed. Mol’s stock rose after the company said it plans to raise upstream output by about 10% to as much as 110,000 bpd of oil equivalent in 2015.

Mol is looking to expand production and acquisitions after facing dwindling reserves in eastern Europe, a civil war in Syria disrupting its operations and an almost 50% decline in oil prices last year.

The company expects downstream earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to increase to between USD1.3 billion to USD1.4 billion/year by 2017 from USD870 million in 2014 as a result of an efficiency improvement program starting in 2015, Horvath said. The company seeks to generate close to USD900 million in normalized cash flow in three years, he added.

As MRC informed earlier, MOL is applying its squeeze-out right for shares of petrochemicals company TVK, a Hungarian manufacturer of olefins and polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene. The agency added that MOL wound up a voluntary public purchase offer for the shares on Friday, raising its stake in TVK from 94.86% to 99.1%, providing all preconditions were met.

MOL previously said Hungarian authorities had dismissed the allegations against MOL, which now holds a 49.1% share of INA. Hungary's government holds a 24.6% stake in MOL.

Export prices for Belarusian LDPE continue to rise

MOSCOW (MRC) - Regular export sales of low density polyethylene (LDPE) by Polymir (Naftan, Belarus) production were held on 10, March. Buying activity in the auction was low, but prices continued to rise for some regions, according ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The electronic export sales of LDPE were held on the United Trading Site at "Belneftekhim". LDPE was produced by Polymir, subsidiary of "Naftan". Buying activity was low at the auction, despite the quite acceptable level of starting prices. By the end of the sales prices rose to the level of EUR1,055/tonne FCA Novopolotsk. Total volume of March LDPE put up for electronic sales was 3,000 tonnes, of which 1,400 tonnes for deliveries to Russia and 1,600 tonnes for deliveries to other countries.

Demand from foreign markets was low, however LDPE prices in the end of sales increased for all countries except Russia. Deals were done in the range of EUR1,020-1,050/tonne FCA Novopolotsk, whereas two weeks ago they had been done in the range EUR880-1,000/tonne FCA Novopolotsk.

There was practically no demand from Russian companies because of the high level of starting prices and lower domestic prices. So, prices remained at the starting level: Rb67,200/tonne FCA Novopolotsk, for 158 LDPE.