Trinseo and TRS partner to improve recyclability

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has reached definitive agreements with Tyre Recycling Solutions (TRS) on a commercial collaboration and an equity investment in TRS, as per the company's press relese.

The transaction is expected to close later this quarter, subject to ordinary closing conditions.

The new collaboration agreement will see the two companies collaborate on research and development, pooling their combined technology expertise to help global tire manufacturers develop more sustainable tire formulations. Trinseo and TRS share the long-term goal of developing new value-creating systems for the manufacture of tires that reduce environmental footprint and create a sustainable outlet for end of life tires.

“This collaboration is extremely important for developing real circular solutions for the tire and technical rubber goods industries. As a leading supplier of synthetic rubber to the tire industry, we are committed to helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals and believe that the most successful way to do this is through collaboration across the value chain. The partnership with TRS will provide us with high quality recycled tire feedstock to serve customers globally,” said Francesca Reverberi, Vice President, Engineered Materials and Synthetic Rubber, Trinseo.

Staffan Ahlgren, Chief Executive Officer, TRS, commented: “TRS has already been working closely with Trinseo for several years and we are excited to enter the next phase of our collaboration. TRS has developed proprietary technologies to process end-of-life tires and deliver output products with higher circular economical value. The partnership with Trinseo is confirmation of the great strides we’ve made since the company was founded seven years ago.”

The investment is aligned and consistent with Trinseo’s recently announced 2030 Sustainability Goals which outline the company’s focus on tackling climate change, embedding sustainability in its product portfolio, promoting supplier and operational stewardship, and embodying responsibility as an employer. Launched to coincide with the company’s ten-year anniversary, these long-term goals are now at the heart of the company at every level.

As MRC reported previously, in mid-October, 2020, Trinseo (Berwyn, Pennsylvania) said it had received mass-balance certification for three families of products that it manufactures at sites in Europe: polystyrene (PS), at Tessenderlo, Belgium; polycarbonate (PC), at Stade, Germany; and synthetic rubber, at Schkopau, Germany.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, October prices of Russian PS continued their upward trend. A shortage of material remained in the domestic market. Traders said Nizhnekamskneftekhim reduced its offer prices for this month's PS purchases to 40%. October prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) grew for the agreed with buyers quantities to Rb89,000-95,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas high impact polystyrene (HIPS) prices - to Rb93,000-99,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

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 USD3.8 billion in net sales in 2019, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,700 employees.

Huntsman Q3 earnings and revenues surpass estimates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman’s third-quarter earnings fell year on year on the back of weaker profitability for most divisions, but the US-headquartered firm expects the completed sale of its stake in pigments firm Venator to provide some uplift toward the end of the year, said the company.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell for all divisions other than polyurethanes (PU), with the sharpest fall for advanced materials with a 51% fall due to the global economic crisis vand customer destocking.

The sale of Huntsman’s remaining stake in Venator to SK Capital is expected to close before the end of the year, to provide USD250m in cash including a USD150m cash tax saving.

The sale of its India consumer adhesives business to Pidilite Industries for USD285m represents a multiple of 15 times business earnings, and is expected to close next week.

Third-quarter 2019 net income was hit by the agreement to sell its chemical intermediates businesses to Indorama Ventures, meaning that results from that business and the associated gain on the sale were treated as discounted operations until the deal closed in early January 2020.

As MRC informed earlier, Nanjing Jinling Huntsman, a joint venture between Huntsman and Sinopec Jinling, plans to close the propylene oxide plant in Nanjing (Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China) on November 1 for scheduled maintenance. This plant with a capacity of 240,000 tonnes/year of propylene oxide will be closed until approximately 25 November.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2019 revenues of approximately $7 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets. We operate more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 9,000 associates within our four distinct business divisions.

Exxon to cut 1,900 US jobs as pandemic hurts demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp announced it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices, reported Reuters.

Exxon was once the largest US publicly traded company, but has been cutting costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new oilfields and expansions. It has promised to shed more than USD10 billion this year in project spending and cut operating expenses 15%.

The company lost nearly USD1.7 billion in the first six months of the year and is expected to post another quarterly loss on Friday.

Exxon said the job cuts, part of a global reorganization, will come mainly from its Houston, Texas office and will include voluntary and involuntary cuts.

"The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for Exxon Mobil's products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work," the company said in a statement.

Employees who are separated through involuntary programs will receive severance and outplacement services.

Exxon had nearly 75,000 global employees at the end of 2019, but has been reviewing its businesses on a country-by-country basis. Earlier this month it said it would cut 1,600 jobs in Europe. It has also announced cuts in Australia.

Prior to the pandemic, Chief Executive Darren Woods pursued an ambitious spending plan to boost oil output and turn around sagging profits on a bet that a growing global middle class would demand more of its products.

Exxon on Wednesday said it would continue to hold stable its quarterly shareholder dividend payments, which cost it nearly USD15 billion per year.

Its shares were trading up 2.3% higher at USD32.29 on Thursday.

As MRC wrote before, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc also have outlined up to 15% workforce cuts. Chevron Corp’s planned cuts of 10%-15% would imply a reduction of between 4,500 and 6,750 jobs. It will also cut roughly another 570 positions as part of its acquisition of Noble Energy.

We remind that earlier this month, US oil giant ExxonMobil announced it plans to reduce its European workforce by up to 1,600 across the company"s affiliates by the end of 2021 as part of its global review. Exxon said country-specific cuts will depend on the oil major's local business footprint and market conditions, after the COVID-19 pandemic hammered demand for its products and crude prices tanked.

We also remind that ExxonMobil has undertaken a planned shutdown at its cracker in Singapore. The company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 14, 2020. The cracker is expected to remain off-line till end-October, 2020. Located at Jurong Island, Singapore, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1 million mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

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.

PetroChina third quarter profit surges on recovering oil prices, pipeline spin-off

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina, Asia's largest oil and gas producer, reported a surge of around 350% in third-quarter profit versus a year earlier, owing to recovering oil prices and revenue from pipelines spin-offs, said Reuters.

Net income reached 40.05 billion yuan (USD6 billion) versus 8.86 billion the same period a year ago, and compared with a loss of 13.75 billion the previous quarter when decades-low oil prices hammered its revenue.

PetroChina in September completed the spin-off of its pipeline and storage facilities and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Shenzhen to newly established PipeChina for 268.7 billion yuan.

Profit for the first nine months fell 73% year-on-year to 10.07 billion yuan. Crude oil production between January and September rose 2.7% on the year to 701 million barrels, in response to Beijing’s urge to improve national energy security.

Total gas output increased 6.5% to 3,080 billion cubic feet. Its domestic operation, making up 94% of the total, rose 8.2% on year while that of overseas projects fell 16%.

The company, China’s second-largest refiner, processed 877.3 million barrels of crude during the period, down 3.2% from a year earlier.

As MRC informed earlier, PetroChina Daqing Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Chinese petrochemical giant PetrChina, closed its polypropylene (PP) plant in Daqing City (Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, China) on September 29 for technical reasons. The company stopped both lines with a total capacity of 300 thousand tons of PP per year (No. 1 - 180 thousand tons and No. 2 - 110 thousand tons per year) - for technical reasons.

As MRC reported earlier, Ufaorgsintez (UOS, Bashneft’s petrochemical asset) has resumed its polypropylene (PP) production after a shutdown for maintenance. The plant"s customers said Ufaorgsintez had resumed its PP output since 13 October after the shutdown for a scheduled turnaround. The outage was quite long and started on 12 September. Ufaorgsintez's overall PP production capacities are 120,000 tonnes/year.

PetroChina is a Chinese state-owned oil company. It is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas, as well as the refining, transportation and distribution of oil and oil products, petrochemical products and the sale of natural gas. CNPC owns 86% of the company.

ACC CAB rises at slower rate in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ACC’s chemical activity barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator and composite of industry activity, rose 0.9% in October on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, reported Chemweek.

This is significantly smaller than the 1.5% increase in September, and a 2.6% gain in August, indicating a continued economic recovery, albeit at a slower pace.

“With six consecutive months of gains, the October CAB reading remains consistent with recovery in the US economy,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.

Production-related indicators for September were mixed, but leaning positive. Trends were positive for construction-related resins, pigments, and resins and chemistry used in light vehicles and durable goods. Trends were mixed for plastic resins used in packaging, and in consume and institutional applications. Equity prices, product and input prices, and supply chain indicators were also positive.

As MRC wrote previously, US chemical volumes are expected to drop nearly 10% this year as global economic activity contracts due to the impacts of COVID-19, according to the American Chemistry Council's (ACC) Mid-Year 2020 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook. Volumes should recover in 2021 with a return to pre-COVID-19 output levels in the US by the second half of 2021.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in September 2020 by 6.7% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased by 6.1% year on year in the first nine months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-September output. Last month's production of primary polymers decreased to 852,000 tonnes from 888,000 tonnes in August due to shutdowns in Tomsk, Ufa and Kazan. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 7,480,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 16.4% year on year.