Indian Oil plans to buy North American sour crude for the first time

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's top refiner has issued its first tender to buy high-sulfur, or sour, crude from North America as it seeks to diversify imports, three trading sources said on Tuesday, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The purchase comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States last week when President Donald Trump said the US looked forward to exporting more energy products to the world's third-biggest oil buyer.

It is part of Trump's policy to assert power globally by boosting natural gas, coal and petroleum exports. He said last week the "golden era" of the US energy business was now underway.

State-owned Indian Oil Corp has issued a tender to buy up to 2 MMbbl of sour crude from North America and Canada to meet its growing demand, the sources said.

IOC is ramping up output at its new 300,000 bpd Paradip refinery on India's east coast and has stepped up sour crude purchases this year.

India joins China and Japan in casting their nets further to North America to source for competitively priced sour crude after heavy oil production in the Middle East and Latin America fell on OPEC-led output cuts and lack of investments.

IOC is seeking to buy the crude grades Mars, Southern Green Canyon and Thunderhorse from the US and Western Canadian Select from Canada in the tender, the sources said.

Sellers have the option of delivering the crude to Paradip port on Sept. 25–Oct. 4 or to Vadinar port on the west coast on Oct. 1–10, they said.

The first part of the tender will close on Tuesday and the second part on Wednesday. The tender will be valid until Thursday.

IOC's crude oil imports are dominated by grades from the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. It also occasionally buys oil from Latin America, although in small quantities.

To date, the refiner has bought only two cargoes of light sweet oil from Canada.

As MRC wrote before, Indian Oil Corporation's Rs 34,555-crore 15 million tonnes per annum Paradip Refinery was commissioned in phases from March 2015 onwards. Indian Oil Corporation is conducting feasibility studies to set up a petrochemical complex at Paradip in Odisha for Rs 20,000 crore. The petrochemical complex was built in the vicinity of the company’s to-be-commissioned 15-mln tpa greenfield refinery at Paradip. The petrochemical complex is in addition to the already announced Rs 3,150-crore polypropylene project at the same location, the foundation stone for which was laid by MOS for petroleum and natural gas.

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

July prices of European PVC fell for CIS markets

MOSOCW (MRC) -- Negotiations over prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to be shipped in July to the CIS countries began this week. European producers significantly reduced their export PVC prices under the pressure of lower ethylene prices in the region, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The July contract price of ethylene was agreed down by EUR50/tonne from June, which gives a possibility to talk about a reduction of EUR25/tonne in PVC prices. Some European producers announced a proportional cut in their PVC prices, others reduced their export prices more substantially.

Some producers' price reductions were discussed at EUR30-60/tonne from June.

In general, negotiations over July shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS countries were being held in the range of EUR800-870/tonne FCA, whereas June deals were done in the range of EUR830-930/tonne FCA.

Most European producers had a major restrictions on PVC exports in March-June 2017. Most suppliers' export quotas increased significantly in July, which was one of the reasons of a major fall in export prices.

Polymir fully resumed PE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polymir, part of JSC "Naftan", fully resumed its production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) after a shutdown for a scheduled turnaround, reported MRC analysts.

The company's customers said on 3 June 2017, Polymir took off-stream its LDPE production for the scheduled maintenance. The maintenance works were carried out in two stages, some of the production capacities already resumed operations on 17 June. The entire complex had resumed operations by 5 July. The plant's production capacity is 130,000 tonnes/year.

According to MRC, June LDPE output at the Belarusian plant was 2,700 tonnes, compared to 5,000 tonnes a month earlier. The plant's overall LDPE production reached 28,500 tonnes in the first half of 2017 versus 62,800 a year earlier.

Polymir (part of Naftan) is Belarus' largest petrochemical company, producing a wide range of chemical products, such as low density polyethylene (LDPE), acrylic fibers, products of organic synthesis, hydrocarbon fractions, etc. The plant's annual LDPE production capacity is 130,000 tonnes. Polymir was founded in 1968. The producer uses technologies of the largest foreign companies from Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy (Courtaulds, Asahi Chemical Co. Ltd, Kanematsu Gosho, SNIA BPD, etc.), as well as the development of scientific research institutes and design institutes of the CIS countries.

Trinseo raises July prices of polystyrene and SAN in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced price increases for all polystyrene (PS) and SAN grades, as per the company's press release.

Effective July 4, 2017, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the product listed below will increase as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by EUR45 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR45 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR25 per metric ton.

As MRC informed before, Trinseo last raised its prices of all PS grades in Europe, effective 1 June, 2017, or as existing contract terms allow. Thus, the contract and spot prices for the product listed below rose as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR50 per metric ton.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.7 billion in net sales in 2016, with 15 manufacturing sites around the world, and nearly 2,200 employees.

Supply of pipe HDPE continues to be tight in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A shortage of natural pipe high density polyethylene (HDPE) has been seen since the end of June in the Russian market. Some suppliers took a break in sales, the price increase is not ruled out, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Many market participants reported a shortage of supply of natural pipe HDPE grade PE100 in the last week of June. The main reason was the shutdown of the key Russian producers of this polyethylene: Gazprom neftekhim Salavat and Nizhnekamskneftekhim. The lack of this material in the market will continue in July, and at the same time, the prices are expected to rise.

The supply of natural PE100 was sufficient in the first half of June, the deals were done in the range of roubles (Rb) 84,000-87,000/tonne, including VAT, and delivery to the Central part of Russia.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shifted to the production of injection moulding HDPE, and shut its capacities for a month long turnaround. The second largest producer of natural PE100 - Nizhnekamskneftekhim since the end of June, has shifted to the production of linear polyethylene, which is likely to last until August.

Some trading companies temporarily suspended their sales in connection with the temporary shortage of natural PE100 in the market, although they have small inventories. Some of them are considering the possibility of increasing prices.

At the same time, there is a sufficient supply of black PE100 in the market, although it is much more expensive than natural HDPE. Price offers for black PE 100 were heard at Rb93,000/tonne FCA, including VAT.