Chemours reported decline in Q1 net income

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US-based producer Chemours reported on Monday a year-on-year decline in Q1 net income but still raised its outlook for 2021, said the company.

First-quarter income fell because costs rose faster than revenue. Also, Chemours reported a tax charge of USD5m versus a benefit of USD23m from the same time in Q1 2021. The following shows the company's Q1 financial performance. Figures are in millions of dollars.

"We are off to a great start in 2021 as the broad economic recovery drove strong year-over-year and sequential volume growth across the majority of our portfolio, leading to the highest quarterly sales total in more than 2-years," said Chemours President and CEO Mark Vergnano. "This outcome was achieved despite managing through supply chain challenges and operational headwinds, most notably from Winter Storm Uri. Looking ahead, our strong 1Q results and growing confidence in the outlook allows us to raise our 2021 full-year Adjusted EBITDA range by USD100 million with Free Cash Flow now expected to be greater than USD450 million."

First quarter 2021 Net Sales were USD1.4 billion, 10% higher than the prior-year quarter, which included a negative 1% portfolio impact from the exit of the aniline business. 11% volume growth was the primary driver of the better year-over-year sales performance with positive contributions from every segment, led by robust growth in Titanium Technologies and Advanced Performance Materials. The 7% sequential sales improvement was supported by a global macro recovery that drove sales higher in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, Advanced Performance Materials, and Chemical Solutions after accounting for portfolio changes.

First quarter Net Income was USD96 million, resulting in EPS of USD0.57. Adjusted Net Income was USD120 million, resulting in Adjusted EPS of USD0.71, flat vs. the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter 2021 was USD268 million in comparison to USD257 million in the prior-year first quarter, a result of higher volume and favorable currency impact, partially offset by lower average pricing, under absorption of fixed costs stemming from Winter Storm Uri related plant shutdowns, and higher performance-related compensation. The cost impact of Winter Storm Uri, excluding the impact of lost sales, on Adjusted EBITDA is USD9 million, mostly in Thermal & Specialized Solutions. Free Cash Flow improved USD41 million vs. the prior-year quarter primarily driven by lower capital expenditures.

Chemours reported USD268m in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up from USD257m from Q1 2021. Winter storm Uri represented a USD9m hit in adjusted EBITDA, excluding its effect on sales. The costs from the storm were mostly in Chemours's Thermal & Specialized Solutions segment.

As per MRC, Chemours says it is looking to achieve a 60% absolute reduction of operations-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition to refrigerants, Chemours is a major producer of titanium dioxide, industrial fluoropolymer resins and derivatives and other chemical solutions.

As MRC informed before, in December 2019, Chemours announced plans to sell its methylamines and methylamides unit to Belle Chemical, an affiliate of Cornerstone Chemical. The sales price was not disclosed. Thus, Chemours had signed a letter of commitment with Belle Chemical Co. to sell Chemours' methylamines and methylamides business and production facilities at the Belle location. Earlier in 2019, Chemours announced it would stop making methylamines and methylamides at the plant. In 2020, it planned to start dismantling the methylamines operations. Once Belle takes possession of the plant, most of the employees at Belle and others assigned in supporting roles at other locations will become part of Belle, Chemours said. Cornerstone makes acrylonitrile (ACN) and melamine at Fortier, Louisiana.

ACN is a feedstock for the production of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, Plastik (Uzlovaya) increased the price of ABS for Russian converters for the second half of March. So, unpainted material is offered by the plant at a price of Rb282,000-290,000/tonne FCA Nodal, including VAT.

Chemours is a global leader in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, providing its customers in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining and oil refining operations and general industrial manufacturing. Chemours has approximately 9,000 employees across 37 manufacturing sites serving more than 5,000 customers in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Del.

Hexion closes sale of phenolic specialty resins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hexion Inc, a major American manufacturer of phenol and bisphenol A (BPA), has announced that it has completed the sale of its Phenolic Specialty Resin, Hexamine and European-based Forest Products Resins businesses for approximately USD425 million to Black Diamond and Investindustrial, according to BusinessWire.

The consideration consists of USD335 million in cash and certain assumed liabilities with the remainder in future proceeds based on the performance of the business.

The company expects to use the sale proceeds to invest in its business and further reduce its debt.

Commenting on the transaction, Craig Rogerson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hexion, said: “This sale strengthens our balance sheet, while maintaining a strong specialty chemical portfolio going forward. I want to thank our associates within our Phenolic Specialty Resins, Hexamine and European-based Forest Products Resins businesses for their many contributions and wish them well going forward.”

The transaction was announced in September 2020. Credit Suisse acted as Hexion’s financial advisor, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP as lead legal counsel, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as European counsel.

As MRC informed before, Hexion shut down its BPA plant in the Netherlands for scheduled maintenance in early November, 2020. The turnaround at this plant with a capacity of 120,000 mtyear of BPA, located in Pernis, the Netherlands, lasted until the end of November, 2020.

Bisphenol A is used as a hardener in the production of plastics, as well as plastic-based products. It is one of the key monomers in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate (PC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, overall estimated consumption ofPC granules grew in the Russian market by 27% year on year in January-February 2021 (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) to 16,000 tonnes, compared to 12,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Hexion Inc., formerly Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc., is a chemical company based in Columbus, Ohio. It manufactures thermosetting resins and related technologies and specialty products. Hexion has two divisions: the epoxy, phenolic and coating resins division and the forest products division.

Chemical Activity Barometer up by 0.7% in April - ACC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ACC’s chemical activity barometer (CAB), a leading indicator and composite index of industry activity, rose 0.7% sequentially in April on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, following a 1.1% gain in March and an 0.9% gain in February, according to ACC.

The CAB was up 12.0% on a year-on-year (YOY) basis, as the year-ago period represents the trough of the COVID-19 recession.

“The latest CAB reading is consistent with solid expansion of commerce, trade and industry,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.

In April, production-related indicators were positive. Trends in construction-related resins and related performance chemistry were solid, indicative of robust gains in this sector.

Resins and chemistry used in other durable goods were strong, reflecting growing orders for light vehicles, furniture, capital equipment, consumer electronics and other durable goods.

Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were positive, a mark of rising consumer spending. Performance chemistry for industry was largely positive, reflecting strength in manufacturing. US exports were positive.

Equity prices showed further gains. Product and input prices were positive, as were inventory and other supply chain indicators.

As MRC informed before, ACC’s chemical activity barometer rose 1.5% in January, following a 1.3% increase in December, on a sequential three-month moving average (3MMA). The barometer was up 1.3% on a year-on-year (YOY) basis in January.

We remind that 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 Rosstat's data. February production of polymers in primary form was 861,000 tonnes versus 196,000 tonnes in January. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 1,770,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 8.4% year on year.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

ExxonMobil Q1 chems earnings jump on demand, pricing, disruption

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The largest US oil company Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday reported profit for the first time in five quarters on the back of higher oil and gas prices, said the company.

Net income attributable to Exxon in January-March was USD 2.73 billion, or 64 cents a share, compared with a loss of USD 610 million, or 14 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Diluted earnings per share were USD0.64 versus a USD0.14 loss in January-March 2020. ExxonMobil's revenue grew 5.3% to USD59.147 billion. Analysts expected revenue at USD55.18 billion.

ExxonMobil's production of hydrocarbons decreased in the reporting period by 6.4% - to 3.787 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company writes that capital and exploration expenditures in the first quarter were USD3.1 billion, down USD4 billion from the first quarter of 2020.

As MRC informed previously, Sinopec Engineering (Group) and ExxonMobil (Huizhou) Chemical (EMHCC) have just entered into a BEPC (basic design, engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the proposed Huizhou Chemical Complex Project (Phase I). The main units of the project include a 1.6 million tonnes/year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, downstream polymer and derivative units and utilities. The main product units include two performance polyethylene (PE) lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene (PP) lines.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

ExxonMobil, headquartered in Texas, is the largest privately-owned oil company in the world and one of the largest by market cap. In Russia, the company participates in the Sakhalin-1 project (30% each from ExxonMobil and Japanese Sodeco, 20% each - from Rosneft and Indian ONGC). The project involves the development of the Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi oil and gas fields on the Sakhalin shelf.

PetroChina posts best quarterly profit in seven years

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned PetroChina, Asia's largest oil and gas producer, has reported its biggest quarterly profit in seven years, citing rising oil and gas prices and a recovery in Chinese fuel demand from last year's deep coronavirus slump, reported Reuters.

The company swung to a 27.7 billion yuan (USD4.28 billion) first-quarter net profit, having posted a loss in the same period last year, and announced that it is setting up a new investment vehicle with a focus on strategic assets and low-carbon projects.

The new firm, CNPC Kunlun Capital Company, is 51% owned by PetroChina parent China National Petroleum Corp, 29% by PetroChina and 20% by CNPC Capital, with registered capital of 10 billion yuan.

PetroChina's first-quarter revenue was up 8.4% at 551.9 billon yuan, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Oil and gas output grew 0.8% to 417.1 million barrels of oil equivalent, with crude oil production down 4.9% while gas output was up 8% at 1.17 trillion cubic feet. Refinery throughput rose 7.8% to about 3.31 million barrels per day, reversing close to a 10% drop a year earlier.

PetroChina's domestic gas sales rallied nearly 15% and refined fuel surged 20.9% as Chinese fuel demand rebounded in tandem with robust economic growth.

As MRC wrote previosly, PetroChina shut its Guangxi Petrochemical in southern Guangxi province on February 9, 2020, for scheduled 50-day maintenance. The maintenance helped the refinery to offset stock pressure after product demand slumped due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

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