Singapore non-oil exports surge 24.2% in November

Singapore non-oil exports surge 24.2% in November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) surged 24.2% year-on-year in November, marking the biggest jump in nearly a decade and 12th straight month of growth, said Channelnewsasia.

The rise extended the 17.8% increase in the previous month, and is the highest since February 2012. Both electronics and non-electronics exports grew, according to data released by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Friday (Dec 17).

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX increase by 1.1% in November, following the previous month’s increase of 4.1%. Electronic exports continued to grow, recording a 29.2% increase on a year-on-year basis, driven primarily by integrated circuits, personal computers and disk media products, said ESG.

Shipments of non-electronic products grew by 22.7%, led by specialised machinery, petrochemicals and primary chemicals. "NODX to the top markets as a whole rose in November 2021," said ESG, although exports to Thailand declined.

The largest contributors to this increase were China, Taiwan and South Korea. Exports to China grew by 45.3 per cent due to specialised machinery, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Shipments to Taiwan expanded by 36.5% due to integrated circuits, measuring instruments and petrochemicals.

Exports to South Korea rose by 57.9% due to specialised machinery, integrated circuits and personal computers. Shipments to emerging markets grew by 54.2%. This growth was mainly due to South Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as Latin America.

As it was written before, Japan's chemical exports in November rose by 20.2% year on year to yen (Y) 907.1bn ($7.95bn), supporting the overall growth in shipments abroad. Exports of organic chemicals rose by 39.5% year on year to Y191bn in November, while shipments of plastic products were up by 14.4% at Y250.6bn, according to data from the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Levima New Materials launched an olefin separation system

Levima New Materials launched an olefin separation system

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Levima New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. issued an announcement comprehensive utilization of 100,000 tons/year by-product carbon 4 & carbon 5 and supporting technical transformation of olefin separation system, has been successfully put into production and the technical and economic indicator calibration has been completed, said the company.

Levima Technology's OCC project started construction on August 13, 2019, and was completed on August 31, 2020. A trial run was successful On October 15, 2020 and qualified ethylene and propylene products were produced. At present, it has realized continuous and stable operation.

C4 &C5 are common by-products of catalytic cracking units, which are less economical and often used for fuel. How to further use C4 & C5 to produce high value-added products and improve the overall economy of the plant is a problem that methanol-to-olefin companies have been seeking to solve. According to the market information of Zhuo Chuang Information, on December 23, 2020, the market price of C4 is about 3900 yuan/ton, and C5 about 4900 yuan/ton, while the market price of ethylene is about 8,200 yuan/ton, and propylene about 7,950 yuan/ton. The conversion of by-products such as C4 & C5 into ethylene and propylene has high economic value.

The project adopts the first domestic second-generation OCC technology jointly developed by Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Research Institute and Levima. Compared with the first generation OCC technology, the second generation technology has stronger adaptability to raw materials, higher ethylene propylene yield and better economy.

The announcement shows that after Levima Technology’s OCC project is put into operation, the conversion of C4 & C5 (by-products from DMTO (methanol to olefin) plant) to ethylene and propylene can greatly reduce the unit consumption of main raw material methanol. Ethylene and propylene can also be further processed to produce high-performance ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, polypropylene special materials, functional ethylene oxide derivatives and other high value-added new material products. In 2019, the methanol consumption of Levima Technology was 1.35 million tons. After the OCC project is put into operation, the methanol unit consumption is expected to drop by about 10%, which will greatly reduce the company's production costs and have significant economic benefits.

As MRC informed before, Shandong Levima New Material took its methanol-to-olefin (MTO) plant off-stream for maintenance in early-October, 2017. The plant remained off-line for around 6 weeks. Located in Shandong, China, the MTO plant has an ethylene capacity of 170,000 mt/year and a propylene capacity of 200,000 mt/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 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

Dutch chemical distributor IMCD to acquire POLYchem

Dutch chemical distributor IMCD to acquire POLYchem

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dutch chemicals distributor IMCD has agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of Austria-based Polychem Handelsges.m.b.H. (POLYchem), a provider of chemical raw materials and additives in Austria and southeast Europe, said the company.

The acquisition of POLYchem, expected to close in Q1 2022, would provide IMCD with a platform to better serve customers throughout southeast Europe. The acquisition price was not disclosed. Last year, POLYchem, with a staff of 65 people, had sales of about EUR25m.

As per MRC, South Korean Kumho Polychem in June closed production at its ethylene-propylene rubber plant in Yeosu, South Korea for scheduled repairs.

Kumho Polychem cut production utilization at its ethylene propylene rubber plant in Yeosu, South Korea in September last year following a scheduled overhaul.

Established in 1978, POLYchem started trading raw materials, machinery, and additives for the GRP industry. Their diverse product offering and expanded coverage across Southeast Europe has made them a distribution partner to leading speciality chemical manufacturers in the region. In 2020, they generated a revenue of approximately EUR 25 million and they add 65 employees to the IMCD Southeast Europe team.

Crude oil prices mixed, US crude futures down after COVID-19 flight cancellations

Crude oil prices mixed, US crude futures down after COVID-19 flight cancellations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Brent edging up while US crude futures slipped after airlines called off thousands of flights in the US over Christmas holidays amid surging COVID-19 infections, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 41 cents, or 0.6%, to USD73.38 a bbl by 0053 GMT. The contract did not trade on Friday because U.S. markets were closed for the Christmas holiday.

Brent crude rose 40 cents, or 0.5%, to USD76.54 a bbl after settling down 0.92% on Friday.

Both contracts jumped 3% to 4% last week after early data suggested that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may cause a milder level of illness.

However, the highly transmissible variant is causing COVID-19 case numbers to surge across the world. In the past three days, thousands of passengers traveling during Christmas have been stranded after US airlines cancelled flights due to COVID-related staffing shortages.

In Europe, natural gas prices touched record highs last week on tight supplies, supporting Brent crude prices.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the European Union can only blame its own policies for record gas prices, saying some of its members resell cheap Russian gas at much higher prices within the bloc.

Looking ahead, oil investors are focused on the next OPEC+ meeting on Jan. 4. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, will meet to decide whether to go ahead with a 400,000 bpd production increase in February.

Russia believes oil prices are unlikely to change significantly next year with demand recovering to pre-pandemic levels only by the end of 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

As MRC informed before, Novatek and Uniper have just signed a term sheet on the long-term supply of large volumes of low-carbon ammonia. These supplies will be delivered to Uniper’s markets in Germany and North-West Europe. Novatek is developing a major low-carbon ammonia production facility on the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, making use of the vast local gas reserves. Carbon dioxide formed during the natural gas-to-hydrogen production process will be captured and stored using a highly efficient underground storage infrastructure (CCS).

Solvay to supply Avio with advanced materials for space exploration

Solvay to supply Avio with advanced materials for space exploration

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and Avio SpA have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of composite and adhesive materials to be used across a range of programs including the Vega space programs, the European Space Agency’s satellite launch vehicles designed to send payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO), as per the company's press release.

Solvay will supply Avio with ablative material, RTM resins and adhesives. Solvay has a strong legacy in the space market and has long been a leader in ablative materials for space applications, such as nozzles and exit cones. Solvay’s products have been used across many space launch programs over the years, thanks to their ability to withstand the extremely high temperatures produced by the rocket motor exhaust.

Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay's Materials Segment, said: “The Long Term Agreement strengthens the relationship between our companies. It also secures the supply to AVIO of strategic products for VEGA family launchers in the upcoming years, when the demand of launchers to place satellites into LEO orbits is expected to increase,”adds Sergio Colabucci, AVIO Procurement Director.

As MRC informed before, in August 2021, Solvay announced the launch of a new grade of KetaSpire PEEK, KT-850 SCF 30, designed for precision brake system and e-mobility electronic pump components. Carbon fiber filled PEEK has traditionally been used for anti-lock brake system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) components, such as tappets, poppets and plungers. The new KT-850 SCF 30 grade enables further metal (aluminum) replacement by improving the flow characteristics of the material and the surface finish of parts.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities.

Avio has over 50 years of history designing, developing, producing and integrating space launchers for placing institutional, governmental and commercial payloads in earth orbit through its Vega rocket family.