Ukraine canceled the introduction of duties on the import of cables into the country

MOSCOW (MRC) - The Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade of Ukraine has canceled the introduction of a special duty on the import of cables into the country, Uryadovy courier reports.

"Based on the results of the above-mentioned revision, the commission established that national interests do not require the use of special measures and made a decision on October 11, by which it decided to cancel the decision on the application of special measures regarding the import of wires into Ukraine," the commission noted.

The decision on cancellation comes into force from the date of publication, that is, from 13 October. Not all types of cabling and wiring products are produced in Ukraine, or they are not produced on an industrial scale. The application of the import duty could lead to an increase in the delivery time of products, limit the access of market participants to the required range of goods and affect the choice, in particular, on such criteria as price and quality.

The introduction of the duty could negatively affect the development of the communication infrastructure of Ukraine. The price of the Internet for users could rise.

Earlier it was reported that the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (ICMT) on April 23, 2021 introduced a special duty for three years on the import of wires to Ukraine, regardless of the country of origin: in the first year of operation - 23.5%, in the second - 22.3% and in the third - 21.2%.

The investigation was initiated on July 28, 2020 at the initiative of the Odesskabel and Yuzhkabel factories (together they produce over 50% of these products in Ukraine) in relation to the import of insulated wires, cables and other insulated electrical conductors to Ukraine, as well as fiber-optic cables.

We are talking about commodity codes according to UKTVED 8544 49 20 00, 8544 49 91 00, 8544 60 10 10 8544 60 10 98, 8544 60 90 10 8544 60 90 90, 8544 70 00 10 8544 70 00 90.

During the investigation period - from the beginning of 2017 to mid-2020 - import volumes increased by 128.8%, the share of imports in total production - by 180.4%, in consumption - by 74.8%.

According to MRC's DatasScope report, last month's SPVC imports to the Ukrainian market decreased to 2,300 tonnes from 2,700 tonnes in August, Ukrainian companies reduced their shipments of polymer from the USA. Overall SPVC imports reached 20,800 tonnes in January-September 2021, compared to 26,800 tonnes a year earlier. Limited export quotas of European and North American producers were the main reason for such a major fall in imports.

Lukoil and Gazprom Neft intend to develop production of reagents and surfactants

Lukoil and Gazprom Neft intend to develop production of reagents and surfactants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lukoil and Gazprom Neft concluded an agreement on cooperation in implementation of oil recovery enhancement projects, said the company.

The agreement provides for joint work on improving chemical methods of enhanced oil recovery. It will lay the foundation for best practices exchange and collaboration in lab research, as well as for studies of surface-active agents and production stimulation chemicals.

The companies plan to join their efforts to develop national production of chemical agents and equipment for manufacturing of surfactant-polymer and polymer solutions for oil recovery enhancement. They also aim to test and introduce new chemical compounds when developing mature reserves at their fields?

Lukoil and Gazprom Neft will also evaluate prospects for creation of competence centres that would apply innovative equipment to select surfactant and polymer formulae.

Earlier it was reported that Gazprom Neft and Lukoil are creating a joint venture (JV) based on Meretoyakhaneftegaz to develop a large oil and gas cluster in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, Stavrolen, a subsidiary of Lukoil, has begun a sequential shutdown to repair its high-density polyethylene (HDPE) production facilities. The turnaround will be quite long and will take about 36 days. The annual production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.

Lukoil is the second largest oil company in Russia (the leader is Rosneft). It accounts for 2% of world oil production and 1% of world proven reserves, according to the company's website. According to the Moscow Exchange as of March 11, Lukoil has surpassed Rosneft in terms of capitalization.

Gazprom Neft (headquartered in St. Petersburg, part of Gazprom, which owns 95.68% of the shares) is one of the largest Russian oil companies.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 18.10.2021

1. Asian refinery margins back to pre-COVID levels due to doubling of gasoil profits

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asian oil refiners' margins have rallied back to their highest since before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, spurred by a doubling of gasoil profits as the global economic recovery and power shortage drive demand for the fuel, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to analysts and traders' statement. Gasoil demand has surged as power generators seek alternatives to record-high natural gas and coal and as industrial consumption has climbed while economies reopen from COVID-19 restrictions. That has pushed the gasoil profit margin nearly 60% higher in the past month, replacing gasoline as the key component of overall refinery profits. The Singapore complex refining margin, a proxy for Asian refiners' profitability, jumped to more than USD7 a barrel earlier this month, the highest since September 2019.


Crude oil futures continue upward trend amid tightening supply outlook

Crude oil futures continue upward trend amid tightening supply outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures continued their upward climb during mid-morning trade in Asia Oct. 18, hitting fresh multi-year highs as the supply and demand outlook remained supportive for prices and investors weighed the possibility of a return of Iranian oil, reported S&P Global.

At 10:52 am Singapore time (0235 GMT), the ICE December Brent futures contract was up 94 cents/b (1.1%) from the previous close at USD85.87/b, a high not seen since October 2018. The NYMEX November light sweet crude contract rose USD1.33/b (1.61%) at USD83.60/b. It was last higher on October 2014.

"[Last week was] the eighth consecutive week that crude oil has registered weekly gains, signaling strong bullish momentum behind this rally," analysts at OCBC Treasury Research said in a note.

"Easing restrictions around the world are likely to help the recovery in fuel consumption. The jet fuel market was buoyed by news that the US will open its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers next month," analysts at ANZ Research said.

Investors were now eyeing Iranian talks that are set to resume this week, about four months after negotiations were delayed as a new ultra conservative administration took office.

Analysts said the likelihood of a return of Iranian oil to global export markets was unclear.

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned of that possibility Oct. 13, saying: "We have to prepare for a world ... where Iran doesn't have constraints on its nuclear program and we have to consider options for dealing with that, even as we hope that we can get back to the deal."

Investors have piled long positions in the ICE Brent and NYMEX light sweet crude contracts in recent weeks, amid the improving sentiment for crude oil. Speculative net longs in ICE Brent crude as of Oct. 5 stood at 332,677 lots, most recent data from ICE showed, a high not seen since March 16.

Speculative net longs in the NYMEX light sweet crude contract meanwhile, stood at 326,605 lots as of Oct 12, a high not seen since July 31, according to data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

With oil prices hovering at such lofty heights, market watchers have said this will likely prompt a sharp return in production, particularly in the US, threatening the medium-term outlook for oil.

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said late last week that US shale industry may prove unable to resist ramping up activity to produce more crude oil.

As MRC wrote before, Indian Oil Corp, the country's top refiner, said in May, 2021, that it would resume purchases of Iranian oil if Washington lifts sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme.

Besides, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) said then it can buy up to 2 million tons of crude oil from Iran if sanctions are lifted and terms are attractive.

We remind that in April, 2020, BPCL shipped the first consignment of acrylic acid from its Propylene Derivative Petrochemical (PDP) complex at Kochi Refinery. Acrylic Acid is one of the six niche petrochemical products produced in the new PDP Complex at Kochi Refinery.

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 January-July 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.

Baerlocher to expand its calcium-based PVC stabiliser plant in UK by more than 50%

Baerlocher to expand its calcium-based PVC stabiliser plant in UK by more than 50%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Baerlocher, a leading global manufacturer of additives for the plastics industry, is investing in its production plant in Bury, in order to increase the production capacity of its calcium-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stabiliser plant by more than 50%, as per the company's press release.

The expantion will be reached by installation of additional new mixing and granulation units in 2022.

The present expansion will support the strong demand in all new and recycled PVC applications and reinforces the company’s commitment to the ‘post Brexit’ UK and Irish markets.

Andy Jones, the group’s Global PVC Additives Head stated: “For the past 25 years, the Bury site has established itself as the premier solid PVC stabiliser production plant in the UK. This expansion begins the next chapter for the company, as we approach our 50th anniversary in the UK during 2023, with an increasingly challenging regulatory framework and complexity in supply chains”.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2017, the Baerlocher USA unit of Baerlocher Group built a third reactor making plastics additives in Cincinnati. The project increase by 50% Baerlcoher’s production of calcium, zinc, sodium and other metal soaps in Cincinnati, where Baerlocher USA is based. It also further positioned the firm to meet steadily accelerating demand from the North American polyolefin and PVC industries.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 746,700 tonnes in the nine months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. All producers increased their output.

The Baerlocher Group is a leading manufacturer of additives for the plastics industry. Its portfolio includes a broad range of stabilizers and other additives suitable for all polymer and a range of non-polymer applications. Baerlocher has a strong focus on customer and employee needs and is highly committed to innovation and sustainability. Its pioneering and proactive role is underlined by the support provided to the PVC industry during the transition from lead to calcium-based stabilizers and by its innovative lubricant systems for wood plastic composites.