BPA plant shuts by Sinopec Mitsui

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Mitsui Chemicals Co has undertaken a planned shutdown at its Bisphenol A (BPA) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source informed that the company has started maintenance at the plant on August 16, 2018. The plant is expected to remain shut until mid-September 2018.

Located in Shanghai, China the plant has a production capacity of 120.000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in March 2016, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Hankuk Carbon Co., a company listed on the Korea Exchange, entered into a strategic alliance agreement to engage in collaborative business activities relating to the processing of composite materials.

Shanghai Sinopec Mitsui Chemicals Co. Ltd. manufactures and distributes chemical products. The сompany produces and sells bisphenol A and other related chemical products.

Reliance cancels VGO cargo buy from Nayara on FCC shutdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, has canceled lifting of vacuum gas oil (VGO) cargo from local refiner Nayara Energy due to the shutdown of its gasoline-making unit, reported Reuters with reference to three sources.

Reliance announced that it has shut a gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) unit in its export-oriented 704 Mbpd refinery. The unit is expected to restart within two weeks, it said.sp

Reliance was to lift 40,000 tonnes of VGO, a feedstock for FCC, from Nayara’s refinery in Vadinar later this month, the sources said.

Reuters on Wednesday reported that Reliance has declared force majeure on gasoline exports from its Jamnager refinery in western India.

A U.S based trade source said Reliance has declared force majeure on 4 gasoline cargoes bound to the United States due to shutdown of the FCC.

Reliance’s two refineries at Jamnagar have the capability to process about 1.5 MMbpd oil.

Reliance and Nayara Energy did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comments.

Asia’s gasoline crack fell on Thursday but remained close to its highest level this year due to supply disruptions after Reliance Industries declared force majeure on gasoline supplies the previous day.

As MRC informed before, RIL shut down its cracker, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plants in Hazira on 23 March, 2017 for a 25-day turnaround. Located at Hazira near Surat in Gujarat, the cracker has a production capacity of 1.1 mmt/year and the downstream PP plant has a production capacity of 600,000 mt/year. The PE plant has a capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. Thus, the company produces among others polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

RIL jumps 53 places in Fortune 500 list; IOC highest ranked Indian firm

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Seven Indian companies have made it to the latest Fortune 500 list of the world's biggest corporations in terms of revenue, with state-owned IOC continuing to be the highest ranked Indian firm and Reliance Industries (RIL) jumping 53 places, as per Business-standard.

In the list topped by retail giant Walmart, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) with 23 per cent rise in revenues at $65.9 billion was ranked 137th, up from the 168th position in 2017, Fortune said.

Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani-led RIL was the top private sector company from the country as it jumped from 203rd rank last year to 148th. It had a revenue of USD62.3 billion in 2017-18.

With USD47.5 billion revenue, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) made a come back into the list with a ranking of 197th. It did not feature in the 2017 ranking.

State Bank of India (SBI) with USD47.5 billion revenue was given 216th rank, a shade higher than 217th last year.

Tata Motors improved its ranking from 247th last year to 232nd. So did state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) that moved up to 314th position from 360th last year.

Rajesh Exports was the seventh Indian firm on the list though its ranking slipped to 405th this year from 295th last year.

RIL was the most profitable Indian firm on the list. On the globally most profitable list, it secured the 99th position. The list was topped by Apple.

Two Chinese firms - Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) - figure in the top 10, occupying 3rd and 4th positions, respectively. State Grid was ranked 2nd while Royal Dutch Shell got 5th position.

"The world's 500 largest companies generated USD30 trillion in revenues and $1.9 trillion in profits in 2017. Together, this year's Fortune Global 500 companies employ 67.7 million people worldwide and are represented by 33 countries," Fortune said.

As MRC informed before, in February 2016, RIL was awarded a contract worth Rs. 100 crore to Petron Engineering Construction Ltd for its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant in Gujarat. The LLDPE plant is part of RIL's J-3 project in Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The J-3 project boasts of a petroleum refinery and allied petrochemical plants for the production of plastics and fibre intermediates.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. Thus, the company produces among others polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

PP production in Russia decreased by 1% in January-July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall production of polypropylene (PP) fell in January-July 2018 by 1% year on year, totalling about 829,000 tonnes. At the same time, only three Russian producers reduced their PP output, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

July output of polypropylene by local producers increased to 125,000 tonnes against 114,600 tonnes a month earlier, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Polyom and Sibur Tobolsk increased production volumes. Russia's overall PP production reached 829,000 tonnes in the first seven months of 2018, compared to 837,800 tonnes a year earlier. Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Stavrolen and Sibur Tobolsk reduced production figures, while other producers managed to increase production volumes.

Structure of the Russia's PP production over the reported period was as follows.

Sibur Tobolsk increased capacity utilisation in July, total polypropylene production reached 49,000 tonnes against 38,800 tonnes in June. The Tobolsk plant's total PP production exceeded 273,800 tonnes in the first seven months of 2018, down by 10% year on year. The decline in production was a result of an early shutdown in prevention this year.

Poliom (Titan Group) last month produced about 18,700 tonnes of polypropylene, compared with 17,800 tonnes in June. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was about 128,600 tonnes, up 3% year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 18,600 tonnes of propylene polymers in July versus 16,900 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's PP production in January-July decreased by 3% from last year's level to 123,600 tonnes.

Tomskneftekhim produced about 9,800 tonnes of propylene polymers last month against 12,200 tonnes in June, the low indicator of July was caused by the shutdown for scheduled maintenance works, which started on 19 July. The Tomsk plant's PP output exceeded 83,600 tonnes in the first seven months of 2018, compared to 82,800 tonnes a year earlier.

July PP production at Ufaorgsintez reached about 10,600 tonnes from 10,700 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of polymer at the Ufa plant rose to 77,300 tonnes in January-July 2018, compared to 73,900 tonnes a year earlier.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) last month produced about 11,000 tonnes of PP, compared with 11,200 tonnes in June. The plant's overall PP output reached 77,900 tonnes over the stated period, up 45% year on year. A low indicator of the current year was a result of a long scheduled maintenance works in March-April.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) shut down its production for a short maintenance last month, as a result, the output increased to 7,500 tonnes from 7,000 tonnes in June. Overall production of propylene polymers at the Budenovsk plant reached 64,300 tonnes in the first seven months of 2018, down by 9% year on year.


Japan steps up US LPG purchases in fallout from Sino

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese utilities and industrial companies are snapping up US cargoes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that are seeking a new home after Chinese buyers started to shun them amid an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing, reported Reuters.

Taking in fuel that would otherwise be heading for China means Japanese imports of US LPG are set to stay strong after already hitting record levels earlier this year.

Robust Japanese purchases of LPG, often used as fuel for transport or cooking, underscore how the impact from the festering trade dispute between Washington and China is rippling across supply chains around the world.

The uptick could also help Tokyo rebuff pressure from US President Donald Trump to cut a multi-billion dollar trade surplus or face rising tariffs.

"US LPG is facing difficulties reaching China," said Seiya Araki, president of Astomos Energy, a major Japanese buyer of the fuel.

"That has helped push large flows of US LPG to Japan and South Korea, and there's a high chance that the share of U.S.-produced LPG would rise further."

Japanese government data released on Thursday shows the country's imports of LPG from the United States jumped about 13 percent in July from the same month last year to around 460,000 tonnes, while ship tracking data indicates that just a single U.S. LPG cargo has left for China since the start of July.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade battle, with both sides slapping steep tariffs on each other's goods in a fight that has sparked dire warnings of economic doom and gloom.

China announced earlier this month that it would impose 25 percent additional tariffs on imports of 333 US goods worth USD16 billion from Aug. 23, including LPG.

In the United States, LPG is a by-product of natural gas production and US exports have surged on the back of the shale gas boom of the past decade. US LPG exports now compete with supplies from the Middle East.

In Japan, the world's No.3 importer of LPG, U.S. supplies hit an all-time high of 6.09 million tonnes in 2017. They marked a monthly record of 738,016 tonnes in April this year.

US supplies of the fuel, which includes propane and butane, amounted to about 70 percent of total imports in May, according to the Japan LP Gas Association.

The US has become increasingly price competitive. Taking freight and insurance into account, Japanese government data shows US LPG prices are mostly cheaper than Middle Eastern benchmark Saudi Arabian supplies.

Trump has already imposed tariffs on Japanese steel and aluminium and is threatening to place duties on crucial auto exports from Japan if trade isn't more balanced.

Talks on "free, fair and reciprocal" trade between the US and Japan ended last Friday without any agreement, with the two sides set to meet again in September.