Azerbaijan crude oil, condensate output decreased 3.2% in Jan-Nov

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azerbaijan’s crude oil and gas condensate output fell by 3.2% year-on-year in January-November 2019 to 34.3 million tons, the State Statistics Committee said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Azerbaijan produced 38.758 million tonnes of crude oil and gas condensate in 2018, almost unchanged from 2017.

As MRC informed before, SOCAR Turkey Energy, which is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), plans to lay the foundation of the Mercury petrochemical complex in Turkey in H1-2020. The plant will be located in Aliaga district, next to the Petkim petrochemical complex and the STAR refinery. With the commissioning of this plant, Turkey will settle the matter with the import of purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

PTA is one of the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall estimated PET consumption reached 42,020 tonnes in October 2019, down by 32% year on year. At the same time, the estimated PET consumption in Russia increased to 593,480 tonnes in January-October 2019, up by 5% year on year.

Trinseo appoints Andre Lanning as Global Business Director, Synthetic Rubber

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has appointed Andre Lanning as the new Global Business Director, Synthetic Rubber, as per the company's press release.

Lanning assumed the role on November 1, 2019, succeeding Samer Al Jabi, who was recently named Director, Corporate Development.

As Global Business Director, Synthetic Rubber, Lanning is responsible for spearheading growth of the business in target markets throughout Europe and Asia Pacific. Trinseo is strengthening its focus on innovative solutions for new high- and ultra-high-performance synthetic rubber applications linked to megatrends like e-mobility and sustainability, as demanded by tire manufacturers. In addition, Lanning will expand the positioning Trinseo’s solutions for new applications including truck and bus, as well as broaden its product offering for technical rubber goods.

Lanning brings significant experience to Trinseo, joining the business from Advanced Refining Technologies (ART), where he served as Managing Director/CEO of ART Hydroprocessing; a joint venture between WR Grace and Chevron, based in the United States. Throughout his career, Lanning has led several large organizations, with positions of global responsibility.

"With Andre Lanning as the new Global Business Director, Synthetic Rubber, we will continue our strategy to drive innovation and sustainability efforts across the industry and be a solution provider for green e-mobility practices," said Frank Bozich, President and CEO of Trinseo. "Lanning has considerable experience in this field and will work with the team to continue to exceed customer expectations and engage the value chain."

As MRC informed earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced a price decrease for all polystyrene (PS) grades in Europe. Effective December 1, 2019, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below went down as follows:

-- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR20 per metric ton;
-- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR20 per metric ton.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 411,080 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, which corresponds to the last year's level. October estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics rose by 2% year on year, totalling 46,740 tonnes.

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 USD4.6 billion in net sales in 2018, with 16 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,500 employees.

Imports of injection moulding PET into Belarus increased by 15% in Jan-Oct 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) - Import deliveries of injection moulded PET chips to the Belarusian market increased by 15% in ten months of this year and reached 19,200 tonnes compared to 16,700 tonnes in January-October last year, said MRC DataScope.

October imports of material into Belarus increased by 28% and amounted to 2,000 tonnes compared to 1,600 tonnes in October last year, in September of the current supply amounted to 1,400 tonnes.
The main supplier of material is Russia with a share in the total volume of imports of 96% (18,400 tonnes).

October imports of material into Belarus increased by 11% and amounted to 1,700 tonnes compared to 1,500 tonnes in October last year, in September of the current supply amounted to 1,300 tonnes.

The share of imports from Russia to the Republic of Belarus also decreased in October and amounted to 84% against 97% in the same month last year.


Imports of injection moulding PET into Kazakhstan increased by 49% in Jan-Oct 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The supply of imported injection moulding PET chips to Kazakhstan increased by 49% in the ten months of this year compared to the same period in 2018 and amounted to 46,900 tonnes against 31,400 tonnes in January - October 2018, as per MRC's DataScope.
October PET imports in the country were 9,300 tonnes, reaching its maximum this year and exceeding the import volume of the same period last year by four times.

Imports of injection moulding PET chips in September amounted to 6,700 tonnes.

The key supplier of PET chips to Kazakhstan is China, with a 98% share in total imports. The import of Chinese-made material increased this year by 65% and amounted to 46,100 tonnes against 28,000 tonnes in January-October 2018.


Some French refineries blocked by strike, runs reduced

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil product deliveries remain disrupted Wednesday from a number of French refineries as staff extended the strike, reported S&P Global.

While trucks are often being prevented from leaving the refineries, they are all operating, according to French oil industry association UFIP President Francis Duseux in an interview broadcast on France Info radio.

However, the refineries hit by industrial action are operating at reduced rates, a CGT labor union source said. Supply remains intermittent from Total's Donges, Grandpuits, Feyzin and La Mede sites and Petroineos' Lavera, where staff has extended a strike until the government changes its plans for the pension reform, the source said.

French labor unions, including the CGT, FO and FSU, have called on employees in all sectors to take part in industrial action against the government's pension reforms. The industrial action, which started December 5, has been extended several times, with a renewed call for nationwide protests on Thursday.

The strike has been suspended at Total's Gonfreville refinery where a fire on December 14 led to the shutdown of a crude distillation unit. The refinery is operating partially.

So far, there has been limited impact on truck and rail loadings at Fos sur Mer, but operations are normal with no strike action at ExxonMobil's Gravenchon refinery in Normandy, the company said.

For now, traders and analysts see a greater potential impact from the outage at Gonfreville, where repairs could take several weeks, than from the industrial action. The CDU shutdown has resulted in a rise in diesel imports into France.

Middle distillate cracks rose to a one-month high Tuesday partly in reaction to increased demand for diesel into France. Last week, the impact of the industrial action on the diesel market was fairly limited.

Of France's 200 oil terminals, only four have been blocked by strikers, and around 1% of the 11,000 retail stations have faced product shortages, according to UFIP.

Loadings have resumed at the Fluxel-operated Fos and Lavera oil terminals in the Mediterranean though another strike has been called by the unions for Thursday.

As MRC wrote before, ExxonMobil's cracker at Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, had an "unexpected stoppage" on Friday, 6 December, following a technical failure this October. Thus, an electric fire Saturday morning, 19 October, 2019, on the ExxonMobil facilities in Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon (Seine Maritime) resulted in a plume of smoke, below the regulatory thresholds, which could remain visible for several days.

Besides, ExxonMobil halted polyethylene (PE) production at its site in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, last week due to commercial reasons, without providing further details. The site houses 500,000 tons/year of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, including metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE). This plant resumed operations on 19 December 2019.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,724,670 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.