Indiian MRPL buys its 1st US Thunder Horse oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s state-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has made its first purchase of US-produced Thunder Horse crude oil via a tender for mid-October delivery, reported Reuters with reference to its managing director M. Venkatesh.

"The price offered was very competitive, Venkatesh said. The state-run refiner placed an order to buy 1 million barrels of the sour oil, he said.

The deal comes as Indian refiners ramp up purchases of US oil to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil supplies as Washington tightens sanctions on Tehran. The widening spread between Brent and West Texas Crude WTCLc1-LCOc1 prices is also providing a boost to Asian refiners looking to buy US oil.

MRPL, which used to be Iran’s second-biggest Indian oil client, operates a 300,000 barrels per day coastal refinery in the southern Karnataka state. Venkatesh told Reuters the Thunder Horse deal is the firm’s second purchase of U.S. oil following a shipment of high-sulphur Southern Green Canyon oil received in February 2018.

An industry source said MRPL has placed its order with BP late on Thursday evening. The person declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

BP could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Meanwhile MRPL’s Venkatesh said all units are now operating normally at the Karnataka refinery, where crude processing was curtailed due to water shortages in early May.

"The refinery is operating at almost peak capacity," he said.

As MRC wrote before, MRPL, has brought on-stream its polypropylene (PP) plant in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. he company has recently resumed operations at the plant following a turnaround. The plant was shut for maintenance in mid-April, 2019. Located in Mangalore, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the plant has a PP production capacity of 440,000 mt/year.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is an oil refinery at Mangalore and is a subsidiary of ONGC, set up in 1993. The refinery is located at Katipalla, north from centre of Mangalore city. The refinery was established after displacing five villages of Bala, Kalavar, Kuthetoor, Katipalla, and Adyapadi.

Pemex cannot comply with reduced sulfur content rule

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, cannot currently comply with a new rule requiring less sulfur content for motor diesel, according to a document showing its business plan and seen by Reuters.

The document said that while Pemex implements measures to produce more low-sulfur diesel at its refineries, the state-owned firm has introduced some relevant legal measures.

As MRC informed earlier, Mexico will reduce the tax burden of heavily indebted Pemex by some USD7 billion over the next two years and inject government capital to build a new refinery and raise output from onshore and shallow water fields.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).

PP imports to Ukraine rose by 10% in H1 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine's polypropylene (PP) imports totalled about 66,800 tonnes in the first six months of the year, up 10% year on year. The greatest increase in imports accounted for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

June PP imports into the country fell to 10,200 tonnes from 11,500 tonnes a month earlier, the main decrease in imports were seen in the shipments of PP random copolymers. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 66,800 tonnes in January-June 2019, compared to 60,800 tonnes a year earlier. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main growth in imports, whereas demand for propylene copolymers subsided.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

June imports of homopolymer PP practically remained steady, compared with the May figures - 8,100 tonnes. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 52,200 tonnes in the first six months of 2019 versus 44,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's imports of block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) were 1,000 tonnes, compared to 1,100 tonnes in May. Imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 6,400 tonnes in January-June, compared with about 6,500 tonnes year on year.

June imports of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymer) were about 1,000 tonnes from 2,200 tonnes a month earlier, local companies significantly reduced their purchasing of pipe PP random copolymer. Overall imports of PP random copolymers exceeded 7,300 tonnes in January-June 2019, whereas this figure was about 8,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Overall imports of other propylene copolymers were about 867 tonnes over the stated period.


Bashkir Soda Company shut PVC production

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- Bashkir Soda Company shut down its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production for a scheduled turnaround last weekend, according to the ICIS-MRC's Price report.

The plant's representative said Bashkir Soda Company had taken off-stream its PVC production capacities for the scheduled maintenance by 15 July, 2019. The outage will be short and will last for two weeks. The plant's annual production capacity is 240,000 tonnes.

It is also worth noting that this is the second shutdown for maintenance at Russian PVC plants in July. SayanskKhimPlast shut its production, which annual capacity is 350,000 tonnes, for a 30-day turnaround last week.

As reported earlier, Bashkir Soda Company (part of "Bashkir Chemistry" group) received Rb11.5 billion of net profit under RAS in 2018, up by 6.6% year on year. The company's revenue increased by 11.9% to Rb44.5 billion, product cost - by 11.5% to Rb27.3 billion.

Bashkir Soda Company is Russia's largest producer of soda ash and baking soda and a major polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer. It also ships production to glass industry enterprises. The main shareholders of the company are "Bashkir Chemistry" (57.18%) and the state investment company of Bashkiria "Regional Fund" (38.28%).

PVC imports to Ukraine fell by 46% in H1 2019, exports down by 6%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased by 46% in the first half of 2019 year on year to about 21,000 tonnes. At the same time, sales of Ukrainian PVC to foreign markets dropped by 6% year on year, according to a MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports to the Ukrainian market fell to 2,600 tonnes from 2,900 tonnes in May, local companies significantly reduced their purchasing in foreign markets in the past two months amid high prices and sufficient supply from the domestic producer. Overall SPVC imports reached 21,000 tonnes in January-June 2019, compared to 38,800 tonnes a year earlier.

European producers with the share of about 69% of the total imports were the key suppliers of resin to the Ukrainian market in the first half of 2019. USA producers with the share of about 31% were the second largest suppliers.
Stronger demand for Ukrainian PVC from the domestic market led to lower imports. 13,400 tonnes of suspension were shipped to foreign markets in June, whereas this figure was 16,400 tonnes a year earlier. Overall, over 80,000 tonnes of PVC were shipped for export in January-June 2019 versus 84,700 tonnes a year earlier.