PVC imports into Ukraine fell by 44% in January-March, exports up by 11%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased by 44% in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2020 and reached about 6,400 tonnes. Sales of Ukrainian PVC to foreign markets increased by 11% year on year on a higher prices in the foreign markets, according to a MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports into the Ukrainian market decreased to 1,700 tonnes from 2,100 tonnes in February, as European producers decreased their exports due to a shortage in the domestic market. Overall SPVC imports reached 6,400 tonnes in January-March 2021, compared to 11,500 tonnes a year earlier. Limited export quotas from European and North American producers were the main reason for such a serious drop in imports.
European producers with the share of about 95% of the total imports over the stated period were the key suppliers of PVC to the Ukrainian market. Last month Karpatneftekhim, despite record high prices in foreign markets, reduced the volume of external sales in favour of the domestic market, the export sales of Ukrainian resin amounted to 18,800 tonnes against 22,000 tonnes in February.

Overall, about 60,500 tonnes were shipped for export in the first three months of 2020, compared to 54,500 tonnes a year earlier.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 08.04.2021

1. Refiners may get some hope on recovery of jet fuel demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jet fuel demand is picking up, which could give refiners some hope after the global pandemic boosted distillate inventories and sank margins, reported Reuters with reference to a senior refining executive. Refiners have been mixing jet fuel into diesel inventories for the last several months, since they have been unable to sell the product due to the sharp decline in air travel. “Jet fuel demand numbers are starting to improve and show signs of life, allowing refiners to drop less jet into diesel which will eventually provide well-needed relief on distillate stock,” said Joe Israel, chief executive officer of Par Pacific, a West Coast refiner.


Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical to conduct turnaround at HDPE plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical plans to shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit in Shanghai for a scheduled turnaround, according to CommoPlast.

Thus, the company will take this plant off-stream on April 18, 2021. The HDPE plant is expected to resume operations after a 29-day maintenance on May 17, 2021.

Located at Shanghai in China, the unit has a production capacity of 260,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical took off-stream its HDPE plant for maintenance on June 30, 2020. The plant resumed operations on July 8, 2020.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's HPE production totalled 329,800 tonnes in the first two months of 2021, up by 13% year on year. At the same time, only one Russian producer increased HDPE output.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.

Fushun Petrochemical to shut PE plants in China for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fushun Petrochemical, PetroChina's subsidiary, is in plans to take its three polyethylene (PE) plants off-stream for a maintenance turnaround, according to CommoPlast.

Thus, the company is likely to shut these plants on 10 Apri, 2021. The turnaround is likely to last for 56 days. Thus, the company's PE plant is going to come back from the repairs on 5 June, 2021.

Located in Fushun, Liaoning province in China, the high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant has a production capacity of 350,000 mt/year, the linear low density polyethylenen (LLDPE) plant has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year and the swing HDPE/LLDPE plant has a capacity of 80,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, a subsidiary of PetroChina - Fushun Petrochemical - in the second half of 2012 started production of basic petrochemical products at its new plant in Fushun, Liaoning Province, China.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased.

PetroChina Company Limited is a Chinese oil company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer and the most profitable company in Asia.

SK Global Chemical and Kolon Industries to jointly produce biodegradable plastics from Q3 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Global Chemical Co., a petrochemical subsidiary of SK Innovation Co., and chemical and textile heavyweight Kolon Industries signed a strategic partnership on 7 April to produce biodegradable polybuthylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) plastic from the third quarter of this year, according to Kemicalinfo with reference to the two companies' statements.

SK and Kolon will manufacture 50,000 tons per annum of PBAT by 2023, the highest output of biodegradable plastic in South Korea.

PBAT is a biodegradable plastic that biodegrades in nature within six months through air, sunlight, heat and enzyme reactions, whereas a typical plastic material takes more than 100 years to biodegrade. PBAT also has an eco-friendly advantage over other biodegradable plastics, including polylactic acid (PLA) plastics, which unlike PBAT require certain soil conditions such as high temperature and humidity for degradation. The PBAT will be used in agricultural bags, disposable bags and fishing nets.

The two companies launched a research project last year to develop a biodegradable plastic material. Within a year of this joint effort, they are on the brink of the first mass production of biodegradable plastic in South Korea.

Under the deal, Kolon Industries will offer support regarding the mass-production process and facilities management, based on its nylon and polyester production know-how.

SK Global Chemical, as the only manufacturer and supplier of the base material used in PBAT production, will build on its technical expertise of eco-friendly packaging materials.

“This partnership will put us a step ahead of the competition in the biodegradable plastics market and in establishing an eco-friendly plastics ecosystem,” said SK Global Chemical CEO Na Kyung-soo.

As MRC reported previously, earlier this yeaar, SK Innovation Co Ltd, the owner of South Korea's top refiner SK Energy, said refining margins are expected to gradually recover this year on a pick-up in fuel demand as the impact of COVID-19 eases

We remind that the Korean energy and chemical firm SK Innovation, a subsidiary of SK Group, has recently announced its intention to build a plant in Wojewodztwo Slaskie, Poland that will manufacture Lithium-Ion Battery Separators (LiBS) and Ceramic Coated Separators (CCS), said Manufacturingglobal. Separators are the core material of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, with SK Innovation seeking to further bolster its offering to battery manufacturers.