Ukrainian EPS imports rise by 2% in Jan-Mar 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of expandable polystyrene (EPS) into the Ukrainian market increased in the first quarter of 2020 by 2% year on year, totalling 5,900 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.

This figure was at 5,800 tonnes in January-March 2019.

Russian material accounted for 68% (4,000 tonnes) of the total shipments in the first three months of 2020, compared to 51% (2,900 tonnes) a year earlier. Chinese EPS shipments fell sharply over the stated period to 8% (440 tonnes) from 41% (2,400 tonnes) in January-March 2019.

Last month's EPS imports into Ukraine were 2,000 tonnes versus 1,800 tonnes a month earlier and 2,200 tonnes in March 2019.

The share of Russian material fell to 46% (930 tonnes) last month from 78% (1,400 tonnes) a month earlier. The share of Russian material remained in March at the level of February, totalling 7% (145 tonnes).


Neftekhim Ltd shut PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazakh Neftekhim Ltd, Kazakhstan's only polypropylene (PP) producer, shut down its PP production for an unscheduled maintenance, according to the ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant’s customers said the Kazakh producer had fully shut its PP production by 26 April, because of the termination of feedstock shipments from the Pavlodar refinery. The local refinery also suspended its operations due to a catastrophic drop in demand for oil products.

The deadlines for the Pavlodar refinery to resume from forced shutdown and the resumption of PP production by Neftekhim LTD have not yet been announced.

Neftekhim Ltd was commissioned in 2009. The company produces methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and polypropylene (PP). The plant's PP production with the capacity of 45,000 tonnes/year was launched in 2011; the plant did not have PP granulation unit then, polymer was produced in the form of powder, which limited its field of application.

PE production in Russia up by 59% in Jan-Mar 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall polyethylene (PE) production totalled 734,600 tonnes in the first three months of 2020, up by 59% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

March total PE production in Russia rose to 260,500 tonnes, whereas this figure was at 237,800 tonnes a month earlier, output of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and LLDPE increased. Thus, overall PE production reached 734,600 tonnes in January-March 2020, compared to 460,600 tonnes a year earlier. Production of all PE grades rose, but LLDPE accounted for the greatest increase, which was provided by ZapSibNeftekhim.

The structure of PE production by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

March total HDPE production grew to 142,300 tonnes from 140,500 tonnes a month earlier. ZapSibNeftekhim raised its capacity utilisation. Russian plants' overall HDPE output reached 420,600 tonnes in January-March 2020, up by 78% year on year.

Last month's total low density polyethylene (LDPE) production grew to 61,000 tonnes from 53,700 tonnes in February, Gazpron neftekhim Salavat, Kazanorgsintez and Tomskneftekhim increased their output. Thus, overall production of this PE grade totalled 173,200 tonnes over the stated period, up by 3% year on year.

March LLDPE production rose to 57,200 tonnes from 43,600 tonnes a month earlier, ZapSibNeftekhim increased its capacity utilisation by 19%. Overall LLDPE output rose to 140,800 tonnes in the first three months of 2020 from 56,500 tonnes a year earlier.


PP production in Russia increased by 37% in January-March

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of polypropylene (PP) in Russia increased to about 472,900 tonne in first three months of this year, down 37% year on year, compared to the same period of 2019. The main increase in production volumes was provided by ZapSibNeftekhim, MRC DataScope said.

March PP production in Russia fell to 146,600 tonnes compared to 157,700 tonnes a month earlier. SIBUR Tobolsk shut its PP production in mid March for a turnaround. Russia's overall PP production reached 472,900 tonnes in the first three months of 2020, compared to 346,000 tonnes a year earlier. Five out of eight producers increased capacity utilisation, while the main increase in operating hours was provided by a new producer - ZapSibNeftekhim.

The structure of PP production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

SIBUR Tobolsk shut its facilities for 45-day turnaround in mid-March, the total production indicator was 22,900 tonnes against 44,200 tonnes a month earlier. The Tobolsk plant's total PP production reached 122,600 tonnes in the first three months of 2020, up by 3% year on year.

ZapSibNeftekhim in March produced about 37,500 tonnes of polypropylene compared with 38,000 tonnes in February. The production output in the first three months of this year totalled 116,400 tonnes.

Poliom produced about 18,000 tonnes of PP in March, compared with 16,880 tonnes in February. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was about 51,600 tonnes, down 2% year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 19,100 tonnes of propylene polymers in February versus 17,200 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's PP output exceeded 55,100 tonnes in January-March 2020 compared with 53,600 tonnes year on year.

Tomskneftekhim in March produced about 13,400 tonnes of polypropylene to 11,500 tonnes in February. Total PP production by the producer increased to 38,000 tonnes in January-March 2020, up 3% year on year.

March PP production at Ufaorgsintez increased to about 11,200 tonnes from 10,500 tonnes a month earlier. The Ufa plant's overall output of polymer reached 32,300 tonnes in January-March 2020, down 4% year on year.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) last month produced about 13,100 tonnes of PP, compared with 10,800 tonnes in February. The plant's overall PP output reached 36,900 tonnes over the stated period, up by 2% year on year.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) increased its capacity utilisation in March, the total production of propylene polymers was 11,500 tonnes versus 8,600 tonnes a month earlier. In general, the total production of polymers of propylene in the first three months of this year at the Budenovsk enterprise reached 30,000 tonnes against 23,600 tonnes a year earlier.


Tosoh completes maintenance at Yokkaichi cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Tosoh Corp has brought on-stream its naphtha cracker following a planned outage, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that, the company resumed operations at the cracker on April 20, 2020. The cracker was shut for maintenance on March 4, 2020.

Located at Yokkaichi in Japan, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 527,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 315,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, Tosoh Corp restarted its 527,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Yokkaichi, central Japan, in mid-Apirl, 2016, after planned maintenance. The cracker was shut on 8 March, 2016.

The company runs two low-density polyethylene (LDPE) lines with a combined production capacity of 56,000 mt/year and a 43,000 mt/year LDPE/ ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) swing plant at the same site. It also runs 120,000 mt/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.

Tosoh is one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia. The company supplies the plastic resins and an array of the basic chemicals that support modern life. Tosoh's petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polymers, and polyethylene.