Ukraine GDP up by 5.7% in Q2 2021 - State Statistics Service

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine's real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in the second quarter of 2021 by 5.7% year on year, reported Ukrainian media outlet "Economicheskaya pravda" , citing the State Statistics Service.

At the same time, this figure was influenced by the effect of the low comparison base. In Q2 2020, Ukraine's GDP fell by 11.2% during the period of the most stringent quarantine restrictions.

At the same time, in Q2 2021, GDP dropped by 0.7% from the first quarter, given the seasonal factor.

Nominal GDP totalled UAH1.17 trillion, and GDP per capita was at UAH28,190 (+ 6.4% year on year).

According to the Ministry of Economy's calculations, Ukraine's GDP grew in the first seven months of 2021 by 2.1%, compared to a fall of 6.1% in 2020.

As reported earlier, in April 2021, the IMF predicted GDP growth in Ukraine in 2021 at 4% against 3% in the October report. In 2022, the growth will be 3.4%.

We remind that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) improved its forecast for the growth of the Ukrainian economy in 2021 from 3% to 3.5%, as evidenced by its June forecast.

The Ministry of Economy of Russia raised the forecast for GDP growth in 2021 to 4.2%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's GDP in 2021 will grow to 4.2% instead of the projected 3.8%, said State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Economy Alexei Khersonsev, Kommersant reports.

In July, the department sent to the regions an interim version of the forecast, which assumed economic growth by 3.8%. The head of the Ministry of Economy, Maxim Reshetnikov, spoke about the revision of the forecast to 4.2% in early September.

"We have raised the estimate of GDP for the current year to 4.2%," confirmed on 21 September, Mr. Khersonsev, speaking at an expanded meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy.

In August, Rosstat estimated economic growth in the second quarter of 2021 at 10.3%, slightly better than the expectations of the market and the Ministry of Economy. This reflects an improvement in output in the main sectors, which was largely supported by an increase in household credit burden and a decline in savings.

Earlier it was reported that the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Russian Federation for the first half of 2021 increased by 4.6% compared to the same period last year, Interfax reported, citing data from the Ministry of Economic Development (MED). Against the background of a low base last year in June 2021, the annual GDP growth of the Russian Federation amounted to 8.5% after growing by 11.1% in May and by 10.8% in April. In the second quarter, GDP increased by 10.1% compared to the same quarter of 2020 after falling by 0.7% in the first quarter (while the ministry did not provide an estimate of growth for the first half).

Chinese jet fuel exports to rise significantly in September amid domestic COVID-19 travel restrictions

Chinese jet fuel exports to rise significantly in September amid domestic COVID-19 travel restrictions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chinese jet fuel exports are expected to exceed 1 million mt in September, a level not seen since April 2020 and well above the average monthly 663,000 mt exports over January-August, as the country's latest COVID-19 travel restrictions has severely impacted air travel to and from the southern province of Fujian, multiple industry sources told S&P Global Sept. 21.

This is the latest setback to the sustained recovery in the Asian jet fuel market amid rising COVID-19 infections in many countries in the region.

Given the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Fujian, Chinese authorities have imposed tighter travel restrictions out of Putian, Quanzhou, and Xiamen as of Sept. 14 to contain the virus spread.

The delta variant infections, which initially started at Nanjing and Guangzhou, has dragged the country's air passenger traffic lower since H2 July. Since then, local authorities have tightened preventive measures at two of the country's busiest air hubs, heavily reducing passenger flow. Air travel was expected to pick up in July and August during the school holidays, however, the spread of the delta variant since H2 July has delayed this recovery.

Commercial flights, on the other hand, have declined 50% in mid-August from mid-July, according to data from global flight tracker, Radar Box.

Prior to the latest set back in Fujian, flight flow had shown a robust comeback with the virus spread under control. During the first week of September, commercial flights had risen nearly 60% from the mid-August low, while Nanjing airport restarted operations Aug. 26.

The latest travel restrictions in Fujian may impact the 240,000 b/d Quanzhou refinery operated by state-owned Sinochem, sources told S&P Global.

"With domestic jet fuel demand in the province likely to be weighed (down) by the latest travel restrictions, the refinery may have to look to the export market to relieve some inventory pressure, especially with elevated run rates this month in response to the anticipated surge in jet fuel demand over the seven-day long (National Day) holidays in early October," a Singapore-based trader said Sept. 20.

A Sinochem source said the situation would force the company to concentrate on jet fuel exports from its Quanzhou refinery for the rest of 2021.

As MRC informed before, in December 2020, KBR announced that Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical Co. had successfully commissioned a new ethylene facility in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, utilizing KBR's SCORE (Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery) technology. The 1-million-t/y ethylene plant is part of Sinochem's grassroots integrated refining and petrochemical complex, which also includes a 400,000-t/y high-density polyethylene (HDPE) facility, which recently achieved on-spec production, as well as an 800,000-t/y paraxylene (PX) plant, a 350,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) unit and an aromatics extraction unit with 300,000 t/y of capacity.

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 1,396,960 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

SABIC introduces new automotive grades with up to 29% of recycled polymers

SABIC introduces new automotive grades with up to 29% of recycled polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a global leader in the chemical industry, has launched the company’s first automotive grades containing mechanically recycled content within the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio of circular solutions and services, as per the company's press release.

The new resins are SABIC T2E-3320EH PP compound, a high-flow, low-emission, talc-filled polypropylene (PP); XENOY T2NX2500UV resin, an unfilled, UV-stabilized blend of polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET); and XENOY T2NX5230 resin, a mineral-filled PC/PET blend. All three materials contain up to 29% recycled content and offer excellent performance similar to that of the incumbent virgin resins, giving automotive customers new options that can help them address their sustainability goals.

“The new TRUCIRCLE materials support the automotive industry’s sustainability initiatives by providing an opportunity to extend the life of plastic waste and helping to increase value from post-consumer products,” said Abdullah Al-Otaibi, general manager, ETP & Market Solutions, SABIC. “These new products are the first of many SABIC resins to be introduced with mechanically recycled content for potential use in interior and exterior automotive applications. They also may complement other types of sustainable materials, such as certified renewable products from bio-based content, which we are also developing. It’s all part of SABIC’s strategy to accelerate towards a true circular economy.”

SABIC T2E-3320EH PP compound features stiffness, low emissions and high heat resistance for non-visible heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) components within the instrument panel and interior and under-the-hood parts. An internal life cycle assessment (LCA) showed SABIC T2E-3320EH PP compound offers a reduced product carbon footprint of up to 24% compared to the corresponding virgin PP compound because it incorporates 25% recycled PP.

SABIC’s XENOY T2NX2500UV resin contains 21% recycled PET. It provides excellent heat and impact performance, dimensional stability and low shrinkage for painted exterior body panels, spoilers, fuel filler doors and trim. It is also UV stabilized for potential use in unpainted applications. SABIC’s LCA data indicates this grade lowers global warming potential (GWP) by 11% and cumulative energy demand (CED) by 12% vs. virgin material.

SABIC’s XENOY T2NX5230 resin contains 16% mineral reinforcement and 29% recycled PET. Similar to XENOY T2NX2500UV resin, it delivers properties that make it a potential solution for painted body panels, trim and other components. The product’s reinforcement delivers higher stiffness and a lower coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) compared to XENOY T2NX2500UV resin, making XENOY T2NX5230 resin a good candidate for roof spoilers and exterior trim. Both XENOY grades offer high flow for improved throughput.

SABIC’s complete TRUCIRCLE offering comprises design for recyclability services, mechanically recycled materials, certified circular products from chemical recycling of used plastics and certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2021, SABIC announced the launch of a new recycled material made from ocean bound plastic which had been recovered from ocean-feeding waterways and inland areas within a 50 kilometer radius of the ocean. 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 PC.

According to MRC' ScanPlast report, overall estimated consumption of PC granules in the Russian market were almost 56,000 tonnes in January-July 2021, down by 3% year on year (58,000 tonnes).

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.

Rotomolder Solar Plastics expands into Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S.-based rotational molder Solar Plastics LLC has announced plans to expand into Mexico, said Canplastics.

The company, which is headquartered in Delano, Minnesota, is building a new manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The plant is currently under construction, Solar Plastics officials said in a Sept. 13 news release, and the firm expects to take occupancy of the building in the fourth quarter of this year.

The release said that “recent significant growth and existing customer volume commitments” are forecasted to push the company’s current facilities in Delano and in Davenport, Iowa beyond capacity limits. “Trends in labour availability was a major factor into the decision to look at additional manufacturing capacity outside of its current footprint,” the release also said.

"We are experiencing increased domestic demands across all of our business sectors,” Solar Plastics president Sam Rosen said. “When you add in our customers ‘re-shoring’ efforts, it made the additional investment opportunity very attractive."

The facility will start with 55,000 square feet, which can be increased to over 300,000 square feet. Production is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2022. Solar Plastics is a contract manufacturer, and is part of the ATEK Companies.

As MRC informed earlier, Amcor Rigid Plastics, part of Australia-based global packaging supplier Amcor, has announced that it will invest USD40 million in a major expansion of its Bellevue, Ohio manufacturing facility.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 411,200 tonnes in the first six month of 2021, up by 12% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June, compared to 85,890 tonnes a month earlier.