Trinseo raises February PS and ABS prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) in Europe, according to the company's press release.

Effective February 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR40 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR40 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR200 per metric ton.

As MRC informed before, Trinseo last raised its prices for all PS, ABS and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) grades on January 1 2021, as stated below:

- STYRON GPPS -- by EUR135 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech HIPS - by EUR135 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR400 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR170 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, last week, Nizhnekamskneftekhim announced to buyers an increase of Rb12,000/tonne in its February selling PS prices. Thus, prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS will reach Rb122,000-128,000/tonne, CPT Moscow, including VAT, this month, whereas HIPS prices will reach Rb126,000-132,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Prices of Penoplex's material will grow even higher, the total range of February prices will be Rb129,000-131,000/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.

Bayer reaches deal in glyphosate class-action lawsuit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer says it has reached an agreement with plaintiffs’ counsel to resolve future cases in the Roundup class-action lawsuit, reported Chemweek.

The suit addresses claims that glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide, a legacy Monsanto product, causes cancer, a subject of longstanding litigation.

Under the settlement agreement Bayer “committed to pay up to USD2 billion, provision for which was made and disclosed last year, to support the claims and programs covered by the class plan,” the company says. The plan includes a fund to compensate future claimants, a science advisory panel that will help generate evidence in future claims cases, and research and diagnostic programs. Bayer will also seek information from the US EPA to put an informational label on glyphosate products.

The agreement is part of a broader strategy “designed to provide closure to the Monsanto Roundup litigation,” Bayer says. Last year, Bayer announced a series of agreements involving payments of USD10.1-10.9 billion to settle the various claims, although parts of that plan have been the subject of further litigation.

Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2017.

As MRC wrote earlier, Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) 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.

Covestro 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.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to\\from Belarus) rose in January-November 2020 by 18% year on year to 83,600 tonnes (70,600 tonnes a year earlier).

ExxonMobil creates unit to commercialize carbon-reduction technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp has created a division to commercialize its technology that helps reduce carbon emissions, as the US oil major looks to step up efforts against climate change amid rising pressure from investors and activists, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The move comes as Exxon looks to burnish its environmental credentials as it engages in a proxy fight with hedge fund Engine No. 1, which is attempting to appoint candidates on the oil company’s board and push toward a more renewables-focused future.

Exxon said its Low Carbon Solutions would initially focus on carbon capture and storage and directly compete with Occidental Petroleum Corp’s Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, which is looking to develop the largest ever facility to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

The oil major said it would invest USD3 billion on lower emission solutions through 2025, by which time it plans to reduce the intensity of its oilfield greenhouse gas emissions by 15%-20% from 2016 levels. (Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

As MRC informed earlier, last year, 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.

We 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 was 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 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020).

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.

US manufacturing PMI hits record high in January

US manufacturing PMI hits record high in January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- IHS Markit says its US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit a record high of 59.2 in January, indicating robust improvement in the health of the US manufacturing sector, said Chemweek.

However, manufacturers reported significant supply problems, particularly for inputs sourced abroad. IHS Markit’s PMI data extends back to May 2007. The December figure came to 57.1.

"US manufacturing started 2021 on an encouragingly strong footing, with production and order books growing at the fastest rates for over six years,” says Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

Demand from both domestic and export customers picked up sharply, buoyed by improved consumer demand as well as equipment purchases and restocking, straining supply lines.

"Manufacturers are encountering major supply problems, however, especially in relation to sourcing inputs from overseas due to a lack of shipping capacity,” Williamson notes. “Lead times are lengthening to an extent not previously seen in the survey’s history, meaning costs are rising as firms struggle to source sufficient quantities of inputs to meet production needs. These higher costs are being passed on to customers in the form of higher prices, which rose in January at the fastest rate since 2008. These price pressures should ease assuming supply conditions start to improve soon, but could result in some near-term uplift to consumer goods price inflation."

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in November 2020 by 9.5% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased in the first eleven months of 2020 by 6.6% year on year, 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-November 2020 output. November production of polymers in primary form rose to 896,000 tonnes from 852,000 tonnes in October. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 9,240,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 17.1% year on year.

Maire Tecnimont and SOCAR sign two EPC contracts for new generation refining units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. announced that its subsidiaries Tecnimont S.p.A. and KT - Kinetics Technology S.p.A. have signed with SOCAR’s subsidiary Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery two Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts, as part of the Modernization and Reconstruction of Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery in Baku, Azerbaijan. SOCAR is the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The overall contracts’ value equals to approximately USD 160 million. SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, Italian Ambassador in Azerbaijan H.E. Augusto Massari, Maire Tecnimont Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato and Maire Tecnimont Group CEO Pierroberto Folgiero have attended the signing ceremony, along with other SOCAR’s and Maire Tecnimont’s senior officials.

The scope of the first contract entails the installation of an FCC gasoline hydrotreating unit, while the other contract refers to the installation of an LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) mercaptan oxidation unit and an amine treatment and LPG pretreatment unit. These units are crucial to upgrade the quality of gasoline to the EURO-5 standard. Both projects will be executed in the Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery, where Tecnimont and KT-Kinetics Technology are already jointly executing an EPC contract awarded in 2018.

The projects under new EPC contracts are expected to be completed respectively within 33 months and 26 months from the signing date. This is a major milestone for Maire Tecnimont Group’s core business, since it allows to further consolidate the Group’s industrial footprint in the strategic Azerbaijani market and in the crucial natural resources transformation sector. Moreover, it confirms the orientation of the Group to leverage its distinctive competencies, technological know-how and synergies among its EPC contractors.

Pierroberto Folgiero, Maire Tecnimont Group CEO, commented: “We are really honored to put once again our technological expertise at the service of an historical and prestigious client such as SOCAR, thus consolidating our successful, longtime collaboration aimed at unlocking greater value in Azerbaijan’s downstream value chain. This achievement lets us foster a mutually beneficial relationship and paves the way to future growth, confirming the reliability of our technology-driven strategy."

Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR said: “SOCAR’s Heydar Aliyev refinery, being the only oil refining complex in the South Caucasus region, plays an important economic role. It is the only regional fuel supplier as well as a feedstock provider to SOCAR’s petrochemical units. The modernization of the refinery will significantly improve the quality of produced diesel and gasoline, upgrading them to comply with EURO-5 standards. On the other hand, it will supply the petrochemical industry of Azerbaijan with sustainable and cost-efficient feedstock. While modernization is an inevitable business standpoint, it will also reduce the environmental footprint and increase the quality of life in our cities. In order to accomplish these strategic goals, we are pleased to cooperate with the famous Maire Tecnimont Group, the company representing the creative and competent spirit of Italy, our friendly country."

As per MRC, SOCAR Polymer, a subsidiary of Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, increased exports of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) by 58% last year. Thus, SOCAR's export of oil refining and petrochemical products in 2020 (together with polymers) amounted to about 2.4 million tons.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, exluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020).