SABIC extends earnings slump as Q2 net profit falls 23.2 pct

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups, reported a 23.2 percent drop in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, extending a earnings slump as lower sales prices continued to weigh, said Reuters.

SABIC made a net profit of 4.74 billion riyals (USD1.26 billion) in the three months to June 30, down from 6.17 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.

The result was ahead though of the 3.92 billion riyal average estimate of five analysts polled by Reuters.

SABIC, which is 70 percent state-owned, attributed the profit fall to lower average sales prices, in addition to an impairment on the assets of Ibn Rushd, an affiliate of SABIC.

Lower oil prices have adversely affected SABIC's earnings, with the company's profits falling in the seven preceding quarters, Reuters data shows.

The company's results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products -- plastics, fertilisers and metals -- are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and the manufacturing of consumer goods.

Saudi's petrochemical companies, which for years benefited from subsidised gas feedstock prices versus competitors from non-energy producing countries, are also having to adjust to government energy and gas feedstock reforms which will raise their costs.

From the first quarter of 2016, SABIC's total annual costs before minority interests will rise by around 5 percent.

As MRC wrote before, SABIC and an affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation are considering the potential development of a jointly owned petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast. If developed, the project would be located in Texas or Louisiana near natural gas feedstock and include a world-scale steam cracker and derivative units. Before making final investment decisions, the companies will conduct necessary studies and work with state and local officials to help identify a potential site with adequate infrastructure access.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worlds market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

DSM completes secondary offering of shares in Patheon N.V.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, on 27 July announced the successful completion of its secondary offering of 4,761,905 ordinary shares in Patheon N.V. in connection with Patheon N.V.’s Initial Public Offering of ordinary shares, said the company on its site.

The total cash proceeds for DSM from the secondary offering and the transactions related to the IPO are expected to amount to approximately USD240 million.

DSM now holds approximately 48.7 million ordinary shares, or approximately 34% of Patheon N.V., with approximately 43% held by affiliates of JLL Partners and Patheon N.V.’s management team and 23% free float.

Total cash proceeds for DSM are expected to amount to approximately USD240 million, consisting of net proceeds of approximately USD95 million from the secondary offering and an expected USD145 million in dividend distributions and capital repayments related to the IPO.

DSM expects to realize a book profit of approximately EUR220m, which will be reported as part of DSM’s Q3 2016 results, while any potential future gains on disposal of the remaining shares held in Patheon N.V., if any, will be recognized at the time of any such transaction(s). Patheon N.V. did not receive any proceeds from the sale of ordinary shares by DSM.

As MRC informed earlier, Royal DSM is once again extending its range of ForTii high performance polyphthalamides based on polyamide 4T.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.

Strong demand from automotive sector props India PP copolymer imports by 27% in Q1

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's polypropylene copolymer imports surged to about 40,000 mt in Q1 this year, up 27% from Q1 2015, led by strong demand from the country's thriving automotive sector, said Infodriveindiaper.

The pace of import is expected to remain robust over the next few years, as India's automobile industry gears towards lightweighting, amid continuous demand from component original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, to meet fast-rising passenger vehicle sales. India's passenger vehicle production rose 6% year on year to 3.4 million units in fiscal year 2016 (April 2015-March 2016), while sales rose 7% to 2.8 million units, and exports were up 5% to more than 650,000 units, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Industry sources expect passenger vehicle sales to continue rising at an annual rate of about 8% over the next two years.

India's PP copolymer import growth has been on a sharp uptrend over the last five years, doubling to more than 150,000 mt in 2015, in tandem with the growth seen in the automobile sector, industry sources said.
Of the Q1 imports, 85% came from Singapore, the UAE, Thailand and South Korea, data from India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed.

India's automotive sector, including compounders and component OEMs have helped drive demand for PP copolymer. Consumption from this sector represented more than a quarter of India's overall PP copolymer demand of 700,000 mt in 2015. India's petrochemical producers have been taking notice and switching more of their plant capacities from PP homopolymer to copolymer production in recent years.

As MRC informed earlier, India's ONGC Petro additions Limited in April 2016 started up its new 340,000 mt/year polypropylene plant in Dahej Special Economic Zone, in Gujarat.


Refiner Valero profit beats but margins stay under pressure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US refiner Valero Energy Corp. reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts' reduced estimates, even as the company's refining margin continued to be gutted by a spike in gasoline and distillate inventories, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Like other independent refiners, Valero has been struggling with record supplies of gasoline and diesel products in the US that has weighed on prices for refined products.

Refining throughput margin fell to USD8.93/bbl in the second quarter ended June 30 from USD13.71/bbl a year earlier, Valero said.

Analysts have in recent weeks slashed second-quarter estimates of refiners, with several predicting that refiners may have to take more drastic action to protect margins and force a drawdown of stockpiles.

Valero also said biofuel blending costs more than tripled to USD173 M in the latest quarter, primarily due to the purchase of biofuels compliance credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN).

The company said it continues to expect such costs to be in the range of USD750 M to USD850 M this year.

The company's compliance credit costs were USD440 M in 2015, according to filings reviewed by Reuters.

As MRC informed earlier, Valero Energy Corp.’s previously-announced USD700 million methanol plant, planned at its existing St. Charles Parish, LA, facility, was shelved indefinitely in mid-March 2016.

Swing PE plant of Indian Oil likely to remain shut until mid-August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian oil Corp Ltd (IOCL) is expected to keep its HDPE/LLDPE swing plant off-line until mid-August 2016, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the fire occurred at the PE swing plant on July 25, 2016 which was under a maintenance turnaround from July 24, 2016.

It was reported that while dousing the fire three persons, including Fire Officer BB Chauhan, sustained injuries. Six others are believed to have been affected due to a gas leakage, although company officials denied this. The company has appointed a high level committee to look into and invesitgate the incident.

Located at Panipat in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the HDPE/LLDPE swing plant has a production capacity of 350,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, IOCL took off-stream its HDPE unit at Panipat refinery in northern India on April 22, 2016. It remained shut for a brief maintenance turnaround until April 26, 2016. Located at Panipat in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the HDPE unit has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.