The first deals on PP exports from new polymer plant took place in Turkmenistan

MOSCOW (MRC) - The first lots of polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from the new gas chemical complex were put at exports trades of the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange of Turkmenistan a week ago. But the real deals, and only for PP, took place only a week later, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The first lots of PP and HDPE with a total volume of about 14,100 tonnes were put at the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange of Turkmenistan from the new gas chemical complex in the village of Kiyanly (Balkan region, Turkmenistan) on 3 September. But the trader set a fairly high price on the very first day of the trades.

Only a week later due to a noticeable decline in prices, the first deals took place. Potential buyers said the trader set a fairly high level of starting prices a week earlier, polyethylene (PE) and PP were offered at USD1,250-1,300 per tonne, FCA.

Such starting prices were unacceptable for most buyers given the novelty of the material and the unproven logistics.
The starting prices in the export trades were reduced to USD1,100/tonne FCA on 10 September, after which several deals were done for PP shipment with a volume of about 500 tonnes. Buyers were companies from the CIS countries.

Part of the potential buyers still refrained from purchases and waited for the prices at the level of USD1,050-1,060/tonne FCA, because they did not fully understand the real terms of shipments and the final cost of delivery.

Earlier it was reported that the gas chemical complex for production of HDPE and polypropylene with the capacity of 386,000 tonnes/year and 81,000 tonnes/year respectively was built by the consortium TOYO Engineering (Japan) and LG and Hyundai (South Korea). The total cost of the project was about USD3.4 billion.

September prices of European PP grew for CIS countries, but not all sellers raised them

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The September contract price of propylene was agreed in Europe up by EUR40/tonne from August. However, not all European producers announced a proportional increase in export prices of polypropylene (PP) for September shipments to the CIS markets, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over September prices of European PP began last week. All market participants reported a number of producers' desire to achieve an increase in export prices of propylene polymers, which is proportional to the amount of the rise in monomer prices for this month's shipments. Some companies said that in a number of cases, they managed to roll over August prices.

Deals for September shipments of homopolymer propylene (homopolymer PP) were negotiated in the range of EUR1,165-1,230/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR1,165-1,240/tonne FCA.
Deals for block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) were done in the range of EUR1,240-1,310/tonne FCA.

Some companies said some producers still had restrictions on exports from August due to shutdowns for maintenance.

PE production in Belarus rose by 10% in Jan-Aug 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Belarus's overall production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) totalled 42,800 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, up by 10% year on year, reported MRC analysts.
According to the National Statistics Committee of Belarus, the local LDPE producer - Polymir reduceded its capacity utilisation in August and produced slightly over 5,500 tonnes of polyethylene (PE) versus 6,200 tonnes a month earlier. Thus, Polymir's total LDPE output was slightly over 42,800 tonnes in January-August 2018, compared to 38,900 tonnes a year earlier.

As reported earlier, the Belarusian producer plans to reach full capacity utilisation at its PE production by late November. Because of the fire at the ethylene unit in June 2016, Polymir was forced to reduce its capacity utilisation at LDPE production by almost two-fold.

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. 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 developments of scientific research institutes and design institutes of the CIS countries. The plant's annual production capacity is 130,000 tonnes.


Petronas ups dividend payment to the govt to RM24b

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin has pointed on that the higher dividend payment was on the back of an increase in profits and higher global crude oil prices, as per The Star.

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin pointed on that the higher dividend payment was on the back of an increase in profits and higher global crude oil prices.

Its group chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin pointed on that the higher dividend payment was on the back of an increase in profits and higher global crude oil prices.

"We raised our dividend payment to the government to RM24bil, which is 50% higher than the RM16bil we paid last year," he told reporters after Petronas’ mid-year 2018 review.

For the second quarter ended June 30, Petronas saw its profit after tax almost double to RM13.63bil from RM7.06bil last year, driven by its cost-cutting measure and higher oil prices.

Its revenue for the quarter increased by 14.7% to RM59.3bil from RM51.6bil previously.

Cumulatively, for the first half of 2018, Petronas posted a 54% surge in profit after tax to RM.26.65bil from RM17.35bil a year ago.

Petronas executive vice-president Datuk Manharlal Ratilal said during the first half, the average crude oil price was at USD70.56 per barrel, compared to USD51.8 per barrel a year earlier.

Petronas saw its revenue in the first half rise by 8% to RM117.16bil from RM108.15bil.

Wan Zulkiflee said that the capital investment for the first half was RM19.8bil, which was mainly for its investment in the downstream at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor.

He said that the PIC project was progressing as plan, which was about 93% completed.

He said Petronas planned its capital expenditure based on the average oil price of "slightly below" USD73 per barrel for this year and US$66 per barrel in 2019.

"We like to remain conservative," Wan Zulkiflee said.

He also said that Petronas was targeting to finalise its final investment decision for its LNG asset in Canada in the next few months.

As MRC reported earlier, in January 2019, Malaysia's state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad said its new USD27 billion refining and petrochemical complex project in the southeast Asian country is on track for start-up in 2019.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Retaliatory tariffs in U.S. chemicals & plastics exports put 55,000 jobs economic activity at risk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Punitive measures imposed on China as a result of the U.S. Section 301 investigation have incited retaliatory tariffs on USD11 billion in U.S. chemicals and plastics exports and put nearly 55,000 American jobs and USD18 billion in domestic activity at risk as a result of reduced demand for those products, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The release of the new data coincides with ACC’s filing of public comments on U.S. ‘List 3’ and follows on the heels of testimony given in August by ACC Director of International Trade, Ed Brzytwa, in which ACC called on policymakers to remove all 1,505 chemicals and plastics products, valued at USD16.4 billion, from List 3.

"It’s unavoidable that China’s tariffs on U.S. chemicals and plastics exports will result in reduced demand for those exports," said Emily Sanchez, ACC director of economics and data analytics and chief author of the new report. “Depending on the elasticity of demand for U.S. products in China, the retaliatory tariffs could result in substantial losses for American producers, their employees, and for the communities that depend on the economic activity that workers in the chemicals and plastics industry generate."

ACC’s analysis presents two potential scenarios: a "baseline case," in which Chinese importers are more challenged to find alternative sources to U.S. products; and a “worst case,” where Chinese customers can more readily adjust their supply chains to substitute for U.S.-sourced goods. In the baseline case, ACC estimates that the loss in U.S. chemicals and plastics exports to China would be equivalent to USD1.6 billion annually. Losses to U.S. chemical and plastics exports could reach as high as USD6.1 billion annually under a worst-case scenario, according to ACC.