Crude oil prices drop in Europe on larger inventories in the USA

Crude oil prices drop in Europe on larger inventories in the USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil prices reached a ceiling during morning trade in Europe Oct. 27, dropping from bullish fundamentals after the US reported a larger-than-expected stock build, reported S&P Global.

At 10:07 AM (0907 GMT) London time, the ICE December Brent futures contract was USD1.15/b (1.33%) lower from the previous close at USD85.25/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract was USD1.48/b (1.75%) lower at USD83.17/b.

"This morning, the energy complex is succumbing to negative pressures following a bearish API report concerning US oil stocks," Stephen Brennock of PVM Oil Associates said Oct. 27.

A larger-than-expected stock build showed US crude inventories increasing 2.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 15, according to API's weekly report on Oct. 26. The economists were, however, expecting a build of about 1.7 million barrels.

The API data also showed that gasoline inventories rose 530,000 barrels last week, and distillate stocks increased 986,000 barrels.

"Analysts suggest the prices are starting to look overbought and investor profit taking is largely expected," one analyst said Oct. 27.

However, some analysts continue to cite the bullish nature of the complex as a cautious increase in OPEC+ oil production tilts the supply-demand balance.

"Oil companies in western countries are under pressure to lower their carbon emissions, which will doubtless make them less keen to invest in fossil fuels such as oil," Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank said.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Epsilyte raises November EPS prices on higher feedstock costs

Epsilyte raises November EPS prices on higher feedstock costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Epsilyte (The Woodlands, Texas), a leading North American producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS), has announced an increase in its prices of all EPS grades for November shipments on higher feedstock costs, said the company.

Thus, the price of the company's EPS grades will rise by 5 cents/pound (cts/lb) or USD110/tonne, effective 1 November, 2021 or as contracts allow.

Escalating cost pressure felt throughout the supply chain, including raw materials, commodities, and logistics, necessitate this adjustment.

As MRC reported earlier, Epsilyte increased its Octomber EPS prices in the region by the same amount.

EPS is a rigid form of polystyrene (PS) used in insulation foams for the construction industry as well as for packaging.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, demand for EPS was moderate-to-good from converters. A seasonal decline in demand for material is expected as early as next month. Prices of SIBUR-Khimprom's material were in the range of Rb195,000-205,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this month. Plastik, Uzlovaya's material was offered at an average of Rb188,000-190,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Epsilyte is owned by private equity firm Balmoral Funds (Los Angeles, California). Epsilyte is one of North America’s leading producers of expandable polystyrene resin. The company is focused on solving customer needs for efficient, high-R value EPS. This includes reducing energy usage in buildings, ensuring safe and healthy food through innovative packaging technology, and participating in infrastructure investment both in the United States and abroad.

Japan targets for up to 38% of energy to come from renewables by 2030

Japan targets for up to 38% of energy to come from renewables by 2030

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan has set an ambitious target for renewable energy in the nation's electricity mix by 2030 as it aims to tackle climate change and achieve its 2050 carbon neutral goal, reported Reuters.

Under the plan, put forward in July and approved by Japan's cabinet on Friday, renewables should account for 36-38% of power supplies in 2030, double 2019's level and well above its previous 2030 target for 22-24%.

In April, Japan raised its 2030 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 46% from 26% on 2013 levels, responding to pressure from the United States as world leaders met for a climate summit hosted by US President Joe Biden.

G20 leaders meet in Glasgow this month to discuss emissions cuts scientists say are needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The latest policy comes with no significant changes from the draft released in July, despite 6,400 public comments including criticism for its coal and nuclear policy.

In green energy, Japan will aim for 14-16% to come from solar, 5% from wind, 1% from geothermal, 11% from hydropower and 5% from biomass. But Japan's nuclear target was left unchanged at 20-22%, despite the country struggling to return the industry to its former central role after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. To meet the target about 30 reactors will need to restart, from only eight reactors operating now. The country had 54 operable reactors previously.

"The 2050 target and the 2030 goal to cut emissions by 46% are the right decisions as they finally brought Japan up to global standards," said Takeo Kikkawa, vice president of International University of Japan.

"But Japan will likely miss the 2030 target as renewables could only reach 30% due to a lack of suitable solar sites and nuclear power could rise only up to 15% with about 20 reactors running," said Kikukawa, also an adviser to the government on energy policy.

The use of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, will be reduced to 19% from a previous target of 26%, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be lowered to 20% from 27% and oil will be cut to 2% from 3%. Newer fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia will account for about 1% of the electricity mix by 2030.

As MRC informed before, Eneos Holdings Inc, Japan's biggest refiner, plans to buy Japan Renewable Energy for about 200 billion yen (USD1.8 billion) from Goldman Sachs and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC. The deal would mark the first major purchase of a renewables company by a top Japanese oil company, the Nikkei said, as Eneos looks to shift away from fossil fuels.

We remind that ENEOS Corporation restarted its naphtha cracker in Kawasaki on 1 February 2021. The company shut this cracker with an annual capacity of 515,000 tons/year of ethylene, 300,000 tons/year of propylene, and 105,000 tons/year of butadiene on 4 December, 2020, for repairment after a technical issue reported at the butadiene separation unit and initially planned to resume operations on 28 December, 2020.

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 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Tatneftekhiminvest-holding changed its organizational and legal form

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tatneftekhiminvest-holding changed its organizational and legal form from JSC to JSC, became a non-public company, according to the materials of the Spark-Interfax database.

Corresponding changes on the status of the company were made to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities on 25 October. The decision to renounce public status was made by the company's shareholders at an extraordinary meeting on 11 August.

At the end of June, the chairman of the board of directors of the company, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov approved the idea of ??holding an extraordinary meeting to change the organizational and legal form of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding to a JSC. It was decided to bring the charter of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding in line with the legislation.

Earlier it was reported that OAO Tatneft, part of OAO Tatneftekhiminvest-holding, intends to develop the production of composite materials. Currently, the development strategy of Tatneft's petrochemical complex projects is at the stage of updating, it integrates a new project of the company for the production of butadiene rubbers in Kazakhstan and the recently acquired EcoPet plant (Kaliningrad) for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). As part of updating the strategy, Tatneft plans to pay great attention to "green" projects.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, the total estimated consumption of PET in Russia amounted to 65,350 tonnes in August, which is 19% higher than last year. In January - August this year, the total estimated consumption of PET in the country increased by 12% compared to the same period a year earlier and amounted to 535,610 tonnes.

Tatneftekhiminvest-holding was established in September 1994 as an industrial and financial company uniting the largest enterprises of the petrochemical complex of Tatarstan. The main shareholders are Svyazinvestneftekhim, Tatneft, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Kazanorgsintez, Nizhnekamskshina, Tatnefteproduct.

Flexible Packaging acquires Preferred Packaging

Flexible Packaging acquires Preferred Packaging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In a deal aimed at expanding its reach in the refrigerated and frozen prepared meal packaging systems markets, C-P Flexible Packaging (C-P) has acquired Sycamore Sales Inc., which is also known as Preferred Packaging, said Canplastics.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Headquartered in Norcross, Ga., Preferred Packaging is a manufacturer of multilayer flexible films, thermoformed containers and a supplier of tray sealing equipment for meal solution providers and school systems.

C-P is a long-standing portfolio company of First Atlantic Capital, a New York based private equity firm. “Preferred Packaging brings a variety of manufacturing capabilities including flexographic printing, laminating, slitting, mechanical macro perforating and micro laser perforating as well as thermoforming,” C-P officials said in an Oct. 21 news release. “Primary markets are prepared meals, value-added produce and processed meats. The company distributes nationally through a network of salespeople and independent sales representatives."

“The addition of Preferred Packaging to the C-P portfolio significantly strengthens our capabilities to serve the processed food market while continuing to expand our geographical footprint and adding new market offerings to our diverse mix of products” said Roberto Buaron, chairman of First Atlantic Capital.

As it was written earlier, in its fifth flexible packaging-related acquisition in the past two years, PPC Flexible Packaging TM LLC has purchased Popular Ink LLC, a McKinney, Texas-based supplier of printed laminated roll stock, gel and stick packs, stand-up pouches, and labels and sleeves. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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.

C-P was founded in 1958, and is headquartered in York, Pa. The company manufactures HD printed rollstock, premade pouches, shrink sleeves, stretch sleeves, poly bags, roll-fed labels, reclose, cold-seal flow wrap, cleanroom packaging, and compostable and recyclable flexible packaging.