PVC imports into Kazakhstan decreased by 19% in January-September

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Kazakhstan dropped to about 33,700 tonnes in January-September 2018, down 19% compared with the same time a year earlier, according to MRC analysts.

There was a significant decrease in demand for PVC in September from local companies. September imports of unmixed PVC amounted to 1,400 tonnes against 2,400 tonnes a month earlier. Thus, overall imports of PVC to Kazakhstan totalled 33,700 tonnes in January-September 2018, compared to 41,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Such a high decline in imports was partly a result of the fall in the volume of PVC re-import to Russia. Re-imports of acetylene PVC into Russia were 4,400 tonnes in 2017, while in January-September it did not exceed 1,000 tonnes.

Due to the geographical position, the main suppliers of PVC to Kazakhstan were Chinese producers, with the share of about 77% of the local market over the stated period.

The second largest supplier of PVC is Russia, during the period under review, Russian PVC supplies reached 6,500 tonnes.

Russian producers to decrease November PVC prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over November shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) began in the Russian market on Monday, 29 October. Producers had to reduce prices for supplies to the domestic market, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

SPVC prices has steadily increased in the Russian market since the beginning of the year under the pressure of various factors, and November will become the first month in 2018, when consumers will see a price drop.
Negotiations on the November supply started on Monday, 29 October; the producers expectedly announced price cuts. The prices were heard by roubles (Rb) 2,000–4,000/tonne lower from October level. Contrary to the expectations of many converters, they did not manage to achieve a reduction in prices in October, as it had been in previous years.

The high export prices of acetylene PVC in China and the growth in export volumes have allowed Russian producers in some cases to achieve a rise in prices in the domestic market in October. The export volumes that have grown in the past few months have allowed Russian producers to balance the domestic market even taking into account weakening demand for PVC under pressure from the domestic consumer.

Supply of K70 PVC was even slightly tight in October. Nevertheless, despite the relatively good balance in the domestic market, Russian producers had to reduce PVC prices in November. This was partly due to external factors - SPVC prices are getting cheaper all over the world.

The demand for PVC from the domestic market is declining, and some converters hope to achieve a significant reduction in prices in November due to increased competition between producers.

Overall, November deals for K64/67 PVC were negotiated in the range of Rb74,000-76,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for lots of less than 500 tonnes. K58/70 PVC was contracted at the prices, which were by on average of Rb1,000/tonnes higher.

UAE ENOC to shut condensate splitter for a month in November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has scheduled month-long maintenance for November at its 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) condensate splitter in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as per Reuters.

The planned maintenance will include the integration of a new crude distillation unit (CDU) pipeline that is expected to come onstream late next year, the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media. ENOC did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters on the matter.

The maintenance comes as companies including ENOC and South Korea's Hanwha Total are grappling with feedstock condensate supply tightness due to sanctions against Iran which will take effect this month.

ENOC had chartered at least one vessel to store jet fuel to ensure supply to airlines in Dubai, sources told Reuters last month.

It also has onshore tanks to store refined oil products, including gasoline and feedstock.

Separately, ENOC last month announced that it would be constructing a jet fuel pipeline that can carry 2,000 cubic metres of the aviation fuel per hour to Al Maktoum International Airport.

The 16.2-km (10-mile) jet fuel pipeline is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2020

US crude stocks rise for a sixth week, fuel draws down

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. crude oil inventories climbed for a sixth straight week, but grew less than forecast last week, amid a drop in net imports and the government's sale of barrels from its reserve, while gasoline and distillate stocks drew down, as per Hydrocarbonproceesing.

The Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose 3.2 million barrels in the week to Oct. 26, less than analyst forecasts for a 4.1 million-barrel build. Much of that increase was in the Midwest, where stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose 1.9 million barrels, the EIA said. That was also the sixth straight week of builds at the delivery point for U.S. crude futures.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 639,000 barrels per day, as exports rose 305,000 bpd. Oil prices rose after the data, with U.S. heating oil prices leading the energy complex higher after a big decline in inventories.

"Bullish draws to the products have acted as a counterweight to bearish sentiment ... half of today's crude build was contributed from another SPR release," Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said in August it would offer 11 million barrels of oil for sale from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ahead of sanctions on Iran that are expected to reduce global supplies of crude. The delivery period for the proposed sale of sour crudes is from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30.

Winners for the sale include ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66, according to a notice from the DOE in early September. Traders said the SPR barrels have been hitting the market this month and data showed stockpiles in the SPR fell by about 1.6 million barrels last week, the biggest weekly drop since December 2017.

"PADD 3 stocks fell by 1 million barrels. It would've fallen by 2.5 million if not for the SPR," one trader said. Inventories in the Gulf Coast, or PADD 3 region, fell by 1.1 million barrels to 218.5 million last week.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 4.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed. Gasoline stocks fell 3.2 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.1 million barrel drop.

Meridian Energy Group engages CIBC World Markets as financial advisor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Meridian Energy Group, Inc., a leading developer of innovative and environmentally-compliant oil refining facilities, and CIBC World Markets Corp. have entered into an engagement agreement under which CIBC will act as Meridian’s financial advisor, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

CIBC will assist in structuring and arranging for both debt and equity transactions for the full project financing for Meridian’s Davis Refinery project in Belfield, North Dakota. CIBC is a market leader in providing corporate finance and advisory services and, has decades of experience in major energy project financing in general across the oil and gas value chain, with unique market insights and creative solutions for all downstream capital needs.

Meridian has raised a significant portion of project financing to this point and will continue to raise development financing for completion of pre-EPC work. Meridian has initiated site preparation and grading at the Davis site, and is proceeding with final design and equipment fabrication and procurement with full construction activities and foundation work resuming in Spring 2019. Full commercial operation of the Davis Refinery is expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Tom Skwarek, member of the Meridian Board of Directors, had this to say on the CIBC engagement, "Meridian is extremely pleased to engage CIBC as its Financial Advisor. CIBC’s leadership in energy project financing and its full range of banking and capital markets skills will ensure access to the right financial partners joining our founding shareholders as construction progresses."

Meridian Chief Financial Officer, Chad Hope echoed these sentiments, "Meridian is looking forward to CIBC’s expertise to assist in securing the necessary financing to construct and operate the Davis Refinery. This is an important and crucial step in constructing the cleanest refinery to date, in the world."