ExxonMobil may post first profit in five quarters on better results across its businesses

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp, US largest private petrochemical company, could post its first profit in five quarters on the back of improved results across its businesses, with higher oil and gas prices providing a lift of as much as USD2.7 billion, offset by costs from a February deep freeze, reported Reuters.

Last year, the company posted consecutive quarterly losses as falling oil prices and refining margins triggered write downs. It slashed operating expenses last year and analysts had forecast a per share profit of 54 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Exxon could top Wall Street estimates based on its Wednesday securities filing, according to brokerage Raymond James & Associates. The data point to a quarterly profit of about USD2.55 billion, or 60 cents share, wrote analyst Justin Jenkins in a note.

Shares gained 12 cents to USD55.95 in late trading. The stock has gained more than a third this year to date.

The February freeze that cut power to Texas refineries and chemical plants, and curbed oil and gas supplies, caused up to USD800 million in damages and lost production volumes, Exxon indicated. ConocoPhillips and Devon Energy earlier warned of production losses from the cold snap.

The filing showed refining remains a troubled business despite sequentially improved operating margins. Refineries have been especially hard hit by a pandemic-related drop in fuel demand and a recent rise in feedstock prices.

Exxon’s chemicals operation, its only business to eke out a profit for 2020, could get a USD600 million boost over fourth quarter results on better margins. The business earned USD700 million in the final quarter. Results are scheduled to be released on April 30. Reported first-quarter earnings could hit USD2.34 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES, compared with a year-earlier loss of USD610 million.

As MRC wrote previously, ExxonMobil has shut its aromatics plant in Rotterdam-Botlek, Netherlands, for a six-week maintenance in March-April 2021. This turnaround is part of a larger repairs program at ExxonMobil's interconnected 191,000-b/d Botlek refinery and Rotterdam aromatics plant beginning in the first quarter. The Rotterdam aromatics plant is one of the largest aromatics production facilities globally and produces pure aromatics such as benzene, orthoxylene, paraxylene (PX), and cyclohexane.

Benzene is a feedstock for the production of styrene monomer (SM), which, in its turn, is a feedstock for manufacturing polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC"s ScanPlast report, January 2021 estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia rose by 12% year on year, totalling 45,640 tonnes. The estimated consumption increased year on year for all PS grades.

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.

Net profit of Sayanskkhimplast grew 1.7 times last year

MOSCOW (MRC) - The net profit of Sayanskkhimplast, a Russian producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), grew 1.7 times in 2020 compared to 2019, Interfax reports, citing the company's statements.

Thus, the company's net profit last year amounted to 2.785 billion rubles. The plant's revenue increased by 7.9%, to 20.14 billion rubles, gross profit - by 22%, to 7.32 billion rubles. Profit from sales in 2020 increased 1.7 times, to 3.64 billion rubles.

Earlier it was reported that in December last year, Sayanskkhimplast completed the certification of the produced suspension polyvinyl chloride (PVC-S) according to the KKDIK regulation, the Turkish analogue of the REACH Regulation in force in the EU. The certification is necessary to preserve the possibility of supplying chemical products to the Turkish market in 2021. Certificates were obtained by Sayanskkhimplast JSC for suspension polyvinyl chloride and caustic soda.

According to the ScanPlast survey of MRC, Sayanskkhimplast in December 2020 increased the loading and produced about 27,900 tonnes of suspension PVC, while in November this figure was about 27,100 tonnes. For the entire period under review, the enterprise managed to produce 299,500 tonnes of polyvinyl chloride against 294,500 tonnes a year earlier.

JSC Sayanskkhimplast (Irkutsk Region), founded in 1998, represents a complex of large-scale organochlorine production facilities linked into a single production cycle. The enterprises of Sayanskkhimplast OJSC produce PVC, caustic soda and whiteness. After the commissioning of PVC production RusVinyl (Nizhny Novgorod region), Sayanskkhimplast became the second largest PVC production in Russia.

SABIC launches new recycled ocean bound plastics portfolio

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the launch of a new recycled material made from ocean bound plastic which has been recovered from ocean-feeding waterways and inland areas within a 50 kilometer radius of the ocean, as per the company's press release.

The ocean bound material is mechanically recycled and converted into components for new consumer goods and electronics applications, such as TV remote controls and electronic razors. It has the potential to also be used in other industries in the future, such as automotive.

According to the company's statement, part of SABIC’S TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services, the new recycled material is a XENOY PC/PET compound comprising of a minimum 10% recycled ocean bound PET blended with polycarbonate (PC).

The new material, part of SABIC’s engineering thermoplastics (ETP) product range, offers potentially significant reductions in carbon footprin of up to 7% and energy consumption of up to 11% compared to its virgin grade. It has good impact strength, processability and chemical resistance.

“Our new recycled ocean bound material can help to tackle the problem directly as part of our commitment to minimize plastics waste ending up as waste”, said Sergi Monros, Vice President of Performance Polymers & Industry Solutions for Petrochemicals at SABIC. “By creating more sustainable materials and forging new collaborations, we hope to help reshape our industry and our entire value chain, whilst at the same time playing a leading role to help provide guidance for necessary regulation and governance.”

The new recycled ocean bound material forms part of SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services, which showcases the company’s circular innovations and can help to provide our customers with access to more sustainable materials. In doing so, SABIC aims to help them give the end-consumer more confidence about buying products with the knowledge that the material has been recycled and produced in a way that can help protect our planet.

The TRUCIRCLE portfolio spans design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of used plastic, certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2021, BP and SABIC signed a new agreement to work together to drive circular economy in the petrochemical activities at the Gelsenkirchen (Germany) chemical complex. Building on a long established relationship between the two companies at the production site, the new collaboration will help to increase production of certified circular products that take used mixed plastics to make feedstock, thereby reducing the amount of fossil resources needed in the petrochemical plants at the site.

We remind that in March 2021, SABIC and POLYRAY (Xiamen Hongtai Optical Co., Ltd.,) announced their collaboration for the use of SABIC’s PC resin based on certified renewable feedstock in the lenses of several eyewear end applications such as sunglasses, safety glasses and sports goggles.

According to MRC' ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of PC granules (excluding exports from Belarus) totalled 8,100 tonnes in January 2021, up by 20% year on year (6,800 tonnes a year earlier).

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Lenzing exits facemask joint venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austrian company Lenzing is transferring its shareholding in the Hygiene Austria facemask joint venture to partner Palmers Textil, said the company.

The JV was set up quickly in April 2020 amid the sudden shortages of facemasks and other personal protective equipment as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic struck. Regarding financial terms, for the time being Lenzing will waive its right to a "suitable purchase price" for its stake in order to ensure the continued existence of Hygiene Austria, it said.

As it was said earlier, Lenzing has taken over management control of Hygiene Austria LP GmbH on March 03, 2021. Stephan Sielaff, Chief Technology Officer at Lenzing, has been appointed to serve as an additional managing director at Hygiene Austria.

As per MRC, Russia's output of chemical products rose in February 2021 by 5.3% year on year. Thus, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 7.5% in the first two months of 2021. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, mineral fertilizers accounted for the greatest increase in the January-February output. Production of benzene dropped to 113,000 tonnes in February 2021, compared to 120,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of this product reached 241,000 tonnes over the stated period, down by 7.5% year on year.

Canada to build vaccine facility in Toronto

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new facility is intended to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, boost Canada's preparedness for future pandemics, and will create 300 jobs, said Canplastics.

A new influenza vaccine facility will be built in Toronto to help bolster Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity, the federal government has announced. Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the federal government will spend USD415 million in partnership with Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. and the Ontario government to build the new facility by 2027.

“Ontario is investing $55 million through a performance-based loan, toward construction of Sanofi’s $925 million state-of-art vaccine facility to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, specifically for populations at greater risk of influenza,” Ontario Premier Ford’s office said in a March 31 news release. “The company is also committing to an average of $79 million a year in research and development in Ontario or more than a half a billion dollars over the life of the agreement."

The federal government said the new facility will have the ability to produce enough vaccine doses to support the entire Canadian population within about six months of the World Health Organization identifying a pandemic flu strain. The new facility’s work will include drug product formulation, fill-and-finish, and inspection of flu vaccines.

“This is a critical investment as it will create 300 high quality jobs and push Ontario toward becoming less reliant on others for the production of flu and potentially other vaccines,” said Premier Ford.

This new facility is a second large manufacturing mandate for Sanofi at this site. In 2018, Ontario and Sanofi announced another large bulk vaccine manufacturing facility focused on doubling the site’s capacity to produce childhood vaccines.

As per MRC, Kuwait's Oil Minister Oil Mohammad Abdulatif al-Fares expressed "cautious optimism" that the global oil demand will improve as COVID-19 vaccination programs gather pace and industrial output recovers. Speaking ahead of a joint meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producers, he said the market supply/demand balance has largely improved as result of output cuts implemented by the group known as OPEC+, according to state news agency KUNA. He called on the group to the fully comply with these cuts.

As per MRC, Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), rose 1.2% in March on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, following a 1.0% increase in February. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer rose 5.5% in March. The unadjusted data show a 1.2% gain in March following a 0.9% gain in February, ACC said. The diffusion index rebounded to 82% in March, well above the long-term average of 58%.

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).