PP imports to Kazakhstan rose by 5% in H1 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Kazakhstan increased over the first six months of 2015 by 5% year on year and totalled 7,800 tonnes. Exports dropped by 4% to 13,500 tonnes, reported MRC analysts.

According to the Customs Control Committee of the Ministry of Finance, June PP imports grew by almost three-fold from May to 1,800 tonnes. Shipments of propylene copolymers rose significantly. Thus, the overall PP imports to the domestic market reached 7,800 tonnes from January to June 2015 versus 7,400 tonnes a year earlier.

Russian producers remained the main PP suppliers to Kazakhstan (about 56% of the total shipments over the stated period). South Korea is the second largest supplier of polymer to the local market.

PP exports from Kazakhstan rose to 2,300 tonnes in June from 2,000 tonnes (including deliveries to Russia) a month earlier. Overall, "Company Neftekhim Ltd", the local PP producer, shipped 13,500 tonnes to foreign markets over the first six months of the year versus 14,100 tonnes a year earlier.

PTTGC took off-stream aromatics complex in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand's largest petrochemical maker, has taken off-stream its No.2 aromatics complex following a technical problem, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the complex was shut along with an upstream reformer and condensate splitter on July 29, 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around 45 days.

Located at Rayong in Thailand, the complex has a PX capacity of 655,000 mt/year and benzene capacity of 355,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported before, PTTGC shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant for maintenance turnaround in mid-June 2015. It remain off-stream for around 2 weeks. Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

SCG-Dow to shut down SM plant in Thailand for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SCG-Dow Chemical is likely to take off-stream its styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is planned to be taken off-stream in Q1, 2016. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located in Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 175,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2015, Dow Chemical resumed ethylene production at its Plaquemine, Louisiana site. Outage at the light hydrocarbon unit No. 3, which has annual production of 725,000 mt, started in late May, and resulted in further tightening of the Louisiana ethylene market. "On June 11, our ethylene plant in Plaquemine, LA (LA-3) safely resumed operations," the source said.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber.

Repsol profit dips 20% as weak oil offsets refining

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol, Spain’s largest oil company, has reported a 20% drop in second-quarter earnings as lower crude prices outweighed higher refining margins and led to a loss at its upstream operations, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Adjusted net income fell to EUR312 million (USD342 million) from 390 million euros a year earlier, the Madrid-based producer said Thursday in a statement. That matched the average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Repsol has relied on some of Europe’s highest refining margins to weather the slump in oil prices that led the industry to cut billions of dollars in investments. The company said ramping up projects in Brazil, the US, Bolivia and Peru partly offset a halt in Libyan production.

Repsol’s refining margins, or the profit from turning a barrel of oil into fuels, rose to USD9.10/bbl in the quarter from USD3.10/bbl a year earlier as lower crude prices reduced costs for processors.

Oil and natural-gas production climbed to 525,000 boed from 338,000 bbl a year earlier, after Repsol acquired Talisman Energy Inc. earlier this year.

Second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped 39% to EUR1.42 billion.

As MRC informed earlier, in June 2014, Mexico's national oil company Pemex announced that it would sell a 7.9% stake in Spanish oil firm Repsol, worth about 2.2 billion euros (USD3.0 billion). The sale ends a long relationship between Pemex and Repsol that had run into trouble in recent years over disagreements on policies ranging from top management to the handling of Repsol's investments in Argentina.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.

Сonsumption of PET chips in Russia fell by 20% in H1 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Consumption of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) chips in Russia fell over the first six months of 2015 by 20% year on year and totalled 270,000 tonnes, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

The market capacity has been reducing because of the weakening demand in the PET bottles market. At the same time, Russian producers managed to increase production of bottle grade PET chips, despite the overall decline in consumption. PET production in Russia increased by 11% from January to June and totalled 251,000 tonnes.

Polief remained the largest PET producer in the first half of 2015. The share of the Bashkir plant in the total production structure was 44% from January to June.

The capacity of the Russian PET market has been falling rapidly this year. Traders that offer imported PET have been the first ones to feel the decrease in consumption so far.

As reported earlier, Russian companies reduced their purchasing in foreign markets because of the increase supply of Russian PET in the market and unpredictability of the currency fluctuations (long delivery of Chinese and Korean PET, an average of 45 days). Converters were trying to minimize purchasing in foreign markets by signing contracts with Russian plants. Prices of Russian PET were announced in roubles, which allowed to minimizee the currency component and the devaluation risks in procurement.

Imports of PET chips were 37,700 tonnes from January to June 2015, down by 3.3 times year on year. China remained the largest supplier to Russia. The volume of purchases were 18,500 tonnes, but this figure reached 98,000 tonnes from January to June 2014. Only Papet Cool grade of Lotte Chemical accounted for the increase in shipments among Asian grades (imports totalled 6,440 tonnes versus 3,550 tonnes a year earlier).

Exports to foreign markets rose by 60% to 14,700 tonnes in the first half of 2015. The CIS countries dominated in the structure of consumers of Russian PET. Belarus accounted for the bulk of shipments in the first half of 2015. The share of Russian PET was 46% in the total exports to the Belarusian market. Ukraine occupied the second place. The share of exports to Ukraine was 28% in H1 2015.