Morgan Stanley flags risk oil price rally will lead to a fall

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices have quickly climbed to levels that raise the risk of price falls as demand is fragile, Morgan Stanley said, as benchmark crude hit its highest in three months, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Oil climbed on Monday after major producers agreed to extend a deal on record output cuts to the end of July and as China’s crude imports hit an all-time high in May.

The bank said its base case expectation remained that oil markets will be progressively under-supplied in the second half of this year and inventories will shrink in the fourth quarter and first quarter next year.

But it said in a note the rally “appears mostly supply- rather than demand-driven, and it is questionable how strong refinery runs can increase against this backdrop”.

Refining margins are historically low and inventories of oil products remain elevated relative to crude oil inventories, suggesting the demand recovery is relatively fragile.

Consumption is unlikely to return fully to pre-coronavirus levels until the end of 2021, Morgan Stanley said, adding that inventories are unusually high after the increases in April.

Growth from U.S. shale could return to levels that are too high, if the U.S. benchmark WTI trades too far above the low-USD40s, it added.

The bank also sees a risk to OPEC’s compliance with supply cuts that have led to unusually high levels of spare capacity. “When the cuts are eventually unwound, production could rise sharply,” it said.

As MRC infomed earlier, the fall in Russia's GDP in non-working April 2020 is estimated at 12% in annual terms after growth, according to updated data, by 0.8% in March, 2.6% in February and 1.6% in January. As a result, in January-April 2020, according to the ministry, the RF GDP decreased by 1.9% in annual terms after an increase of 1.6% in January-March.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in April 2020 by 11.2% year on year due to quarantine restrictions. However, this figure increased by 3.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, April production of unreinforced and non-combined films decreased to 107,000 tonnes from 110,400 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in the first four months of 2020 by 12.5% year on year to 402,800 tonnes.

Exxon, PBF refineries in Louisiana keep running through storm

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp’s and PBF Energy’s refineries in Louisiana remained in operation during storm Cristobal’s passage across the southeast part of the state on Sunday and on Monday, sources familiar with operations said, said Reuters.

The 502,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Exxon Baton Rouge, Louisiana refinery and PBF’s 190,000 bpd Chalmette, Louisiana refinery continued to operate normally on Monday as Cristobal weakened to a tropical depression and was moving across northern Louisiana, the sources said.

As MRC informed before, in September 2019, ExxonMobil announced plans to spend GBP140 million over the next two years in an additional investment program at its Fife ethylene plant, which has a capacity of more than 800,000 t/y.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 557,060 tonnes in the first three month of 2020, up by 7% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments rose because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. Demand for LDPE subsided. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 267,630 tonnes in January-March 2020, down 20% year on year. Homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers accounted for the main decrease in imports.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Covestro issues EUR1 billion Eurobond

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On June 5, 2020, Covestro successfully placed a Eurobond with a total volume of EUR 1.0 billion in the capital markets, said the company.

The bond was issued in two tranches maturing February 2026 and June 2030 and pays a coupon of 0.875% and 1.375% respectively. Investor demand was exceptionally high with the orderbook being more than 10 times oversubscribed.

The transaction allows Covestro to extend the average maturity of its bonds substantially. Proceeds of the bond placement will be used to further strengthen Covestro's liquidity in the current macroeconomic environment with the impact of the coronvirus pandemic, as well as providing funds for the 2021 bond maturity.

“The exceptional demand from investors for our bond clearly demonstrates that even in these challenging times, the capital market has continued confidence in Covestro and our robust financial policies”, said CFO Dr. Thomas Toepfer. “The placement of EUR 1.0 billion Eurobond with long-dated maturities is part of our program to build substantial liquidity reserves whilst capturing attractive terms and pricing.”

Covestro was supported on this issuance by BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Commerzbank, and UniCredit as bookrunners.

As MRC informed earlier, Covestro has closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, overall estimated consumption of PC granules totalled 12,600 tonnes in the Russian market in January-February 2020 (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus), compared to 9,600 tonnes a year earlier. Demand increased by 31%.

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion, Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2018.

Henkel develops polyacrylate gasketing technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Henkel has recently expanded its gasketing product portfolio by including new materials and technologies that have been specifically designed for the automotive industry, said the company.

With higher oil resistance and proven lower gas permeability, Loctite AA 5884 is a new polyacrylate gasketing technology that enables customers to enhance the performance and reliability of their products, all while achieving productivity goals and reducing overall costs.

The automotive industry is continually evolving, with stricter regulations and standards, emerging end-user requirements, and new product designs. The use of lightweight materials such as plastics has been a common strategy among automotive designers to help achieve their fuel efficiency and sustainability goals.

Engine covers, transmission covers and electronic components are being integrated into a growing number of plastic parts such as covers or header tanks, which need to be sealed to the core component unit. The most commonly used plastic-to-metal substrate sealing method is the press-in-place (PIP) process. This involves the solid rubber gasket or o-ring being manually applied onto the parts. This process brings with it a risk of displacement of the gasket during compression, however, which may lead to rework or leakages.

As mRC informed earlier, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Dusseldorf, Germany) announced that Henkel Adhesives Technologies has officially inaugurated its new production facility in Kurkumbh, India.

Henkel are also partnering with Borealis and plastics solutions company Borouge to develop flexible packaging solutions for detergents containing both virgin polyethylene (PE) and high amounts of post-consumer recyclate (PCR) in efforts to increase sustainability.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's 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.

Henkel operates in three business units, including laundry and home care, beauty care and adhesive technologies.

Saudi Arabiia oil export revenue falls 21.9%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's export revenue was Riyal 197.84 billion (USD52.69 billion) in Q1 2020, down 20.7% from the same quarter in 2019, mainly due to a 21.9% decline in oil export revenue, the kingdom's General Authority for Statistics announced June 7, said S&P Global.

Total oil export revenue for Q1 was Riyal 149.95 billion, down from Riyal 192.03 billion for the same quarter the previous year. This is despite forward sales of hydrocarbons mitigating the full impact of the oil price crash on the country's quarterly revenues. Oil still made up 77% of exports, little changed year on year, showing little progress in diversifying the economy.

The entirety of the kingdom's hydrocarbon output is produced by the newly listed Saudi Aramco. During the company's listing on the local Tadawul stock exchange in December, it pledged to distribute USD75 billion in dividends annually, through 2024. This amounts to a payment of USD18.75 billion per quarter, equal to almost half of the total oil revenue. The kingdom amassed a budget deficit of Riyal 34.107 billion for the quarter. The Ministry of Finance has already announced plans to increase borrowing and tap cash reserves to plug this year's shortfalls.

The country's economy has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the oil price crash. Saudi Arabia's budget for 2020, announced in December, assumed an oil price of $60/b, and the country's fiscal breakeven price is USD80/b, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Brent front-month contract was recently priced at USD42.30/b.

The kingdom's export volumes are limited by its commitments to the OPEC+ production cuts, in an agreement intended to counteract plummeting demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to steady the market.

On June 6, the 23 members of the OPEC+ alliance renewed their April agreement to reduce production by 9.6 million b/d through July. Under the plan, Saudi Arabia is cutting its monthly output by at least 8.5 million b/d, which is down almost 30% from the 12 million b/d it said it was producing in April. The kingdom had previously agreed to institute an additional 1 million b/d in cuts for June but has indicated it would not be willing to continue those curbs in July.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and PP.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's 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.