Demand for AkzoNobel products outpaces supply despite price hike

Demand for AkzoNobel products outpaces supply despite price hike

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel’s first-quarter net profit fell by 29% year on year as sales volumes dipped 7% due to continued supply constraints, with negative impact from the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 restrictions in China, said Reuters.

The company pegged the Q1 impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on operating income at about EUR5m, “of which €1m relates to impairment of accounts receivable and inventories in the region”, the Dutch paints and coatings major said in the notes accompanying its financial results. Sales for the three months to March 2022 posted a double-digit increase, thanks to a 17% spike in product prices.

“Pricing initiatives more than offset the increase of raw material and other variable costs (including freight), which combined increased EUR334 million compared with Q1 2021,” AkzoNobel said in a statement.

“Although uncertainties remain with regard to amongst others the sanctions on Russia, the COVID-19 resurgence in China and continued supply constraints – especially in North America – we remain confident in realizing our Grow & Deliver strategy,” AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker said.

Raw material and other cost inflation (including freight) is expected "to gradually ease during the second half of 2022" and "aims to continue to offset raw material and other variable cost inflation (including freight) through pricing initiatives", the company said.

The Dutch producer is targeting a EUR2bn adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) target for 2023. Russia and Ukraine have a combined share of about 2% to AkzoNobel’s revenue prior to the start of the conflict in late February, it said.

We remind, AkzoNobel expects that its revenues from Russia will drop around 70% from the EUR210m generated in the country last year in 2022, the CEO of the Netherlands-headquartered paints and coatings player said on Thursday.

The company has suspended the bulk of its business in the country in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and ensuing EU sanctions. What remains of its operations in the country will be locally operated, according to AkzoNobel chief Thierry Vanlancker.

AkzoNobel expects that its revenues from Russia will drop around 70% from the €210m generated in the country last year in 2022. The company has suspended the bulk of its business in the country in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and ensuing EU sanctions. What remains of its operations in the country will be locally operated, according to AkzoNobel chief Thierry Vanlancker.

Also, AkzoNobel has launched a new GBP 10 M global research and development (R&D) facility at its site in Slough, UK. The new centre will house 120 specialists and will serve as a major facility within the firm's global R&D network and help to further advance its innovation capabilities, specifically in the decorative paints area. The UK project is the newest in a series of facilities launched by the company intended to advance its product development.
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Dow Q1 sales rise 28%

Dow Q1 sales rise 28%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow’s Q1 sales rose 28% year on year and operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) jumped nearly 56% - despite higher energy costs, said the company.

Dow saw sales growth in all operating segments, businesses and regions. The operating EBIT margin for the three months ended 31 March 2022 expanded to 15.9%, from 13.1% in Q1 2021.

Sequentially, net sales were up 6% from Q4 2021, driven by gains in Performance Materials & Coatings and Packaging & Specialty Plastics. Q1 volume increased 3% year on year, with gains in all operating segments and in the US & Canada and Latin America.

Sequentially, volume was up 5%, reflecting strong demand for silicon's and polyethylene (PE) applications. However, Dow’s equity earnings fell year on year, primarily due to planned maintenance activity at its Sadara petrochemicals joint venture in Saudi Arabia.

Sequentially, equity earnings fell because of lower PE and mono ethylene glycol (MEG) margins in Asia Pacific.

At the same time, Dow is advancing its strategy to decarbonise and grow underlying earnings by more than USD3bn in the transition to a more sustainable world, he said.

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, Dow and Plastogaz SA announced a strategic investment which will help simplify the process of converting plastic waste to feedstock and provide another carbon-efficient option to keep plastic waste out of landfills and the environment. The collaboration marks another milestone in Dow’s ongoing mission to protect the climate and close the loop on plastic waste.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people.
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Shell cuts emissions by 18% in 2021

Shell cuts emissions by 18% in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and energy consumed last year by 18% compared to 2016 levels, with the goal remaining to cut by 50% by 2030, said Reuters.

The company has moved to increase investment in low-carbon fields, as well as hydrogen and renewable power to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. Shell reduced the carbon intensity of the products it sells by 2-3% as of the end of last year. The announcement, part of its regular progress reports and shareholder votes on its sustainability measures, follows a Netherlands court verdict to cut its carbon output by 45% from 2019 levels by 2030.

The mandate included scope 3 emissions, a substantial challenge for fossil fuel providers, as it encompasses greenhouse gases from retail customers. In its energy transition progress report, released on Wednesday, the company said that it has reduced scope 3 emissions by 16% from 2016 levels as of the end of last year.

Shell has milestone targets of a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, but at present has no interim target for scope 3 beyond the overarching 2050 net zero goal. At present, ,the firm’s strategy for scope 3 emissions reductions centres around reducing the sale of oil an gas products and increasing ales of low- and zero-carbon products.

We remind, Shell Plc started to withdraw staff from its joint ventures with Russia’s Gazprom PJSC as it moves forward with plans to exit investments in response to the war in Ukraine. Dozens of Shell employees on temporary assignment at the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas export project in Russia were removed over the weekend to be relocated back to other offices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Operations at the facility are unlikely to be affected by the move, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private details.

In early March, Shell plc announced its intention to phase out participation in all Russian hydrocarbon projects, including oil, oil products, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Earlier it was noted that in April 2019, Shell announced its withdrawal from the Baltic LNG project after Gazprom's decision to change the concept of the project development, fully integrating it with the gas processing plant in Ust-Luga. In 2015, Shell became the sole partner of Gazprom in the Baltic LNG, and in 2018, the development of a technical project began. Initially, Shell estimated the capacity of the plant at 10 million tons of LNG per year, with a possible subsequent increase in capacity to 13 million tons.

Shell is a British-Dutch oil and gas concern engaged in the extraction, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons in more than 70 countries.
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Eneos to purchase alternative to Russian crude oil from Middle East

Eneos to purchase alternative to Russian crude oil from Middle East

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's biggest oil refiner, Eneos Holdings Inc. has no plans to buy Russian crude until all problems related to the Ukraine crisis are over and will purchase alternative supplies from the Middle East, reported Reuters with reference to its chairman's statement on Wednesday.

"For now, we intend to get alternatives from existing trading partners such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, but we will continue our efforts to diversify our sources to reduce reliance on the Middle East in the future," Tsutomu Sugimori, chairman of Eneos Holdings, told reporters.

Last month, Sugimori said that Eneos had stopped buying Russian crude in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation."

Japan was a buyer of Russian crude in 2021.

The United States said in March it would sell 180 MM barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve at a rate of 1 MM barrels per day starting in May to help dampen the surge in prices following the Ukraine crisis. This represents the biggest release from the stockpile since it was created in the 1970s.

Members of the International Energy Agency, including Japan, are releasing an additional 60 MM barrels.

"It's a fairly large volume and it will have a certain effect on oil market," said Sugimori, also president of the Petroleum Association of Japan.

As MRC informed previously, earlier this month, TotalEnergies and ENEOS announced a collaboration to jointly conduct a feasibility study to assess the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in ENEOS' Negishi refinery in Yokohama city, Japan.

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 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy was renamed ENEOS Corporation on 25 June, 2020, as part of a wider re-organization of the parent company JXTG Holdings. The move, which also involved renaming the parent company to ENEOS Holdings upon approval at its annual shareholders meeting in June 2020, comes as it strives to be a more comprehensive energy and materials company under its 2040 vision announced in May, 2019. JXTG Holdings was formed as a result of a merger between JX Holdings and TonenGeneral in April 2017. This followed the establishment of JX Holdings as a result of the merger between Nippon Oil and Nippon Mining Holdings in April 2010.
MRC

Solvay implements global price adjustment for mining products in April

Solvay implements global price adjustment for mining products in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay is implementing a global price adjustment of 10% to 30% on certain product lines from its Mining Solutions business, effective for all shipments as of April 1 or as contracts allow, as per the company's press release.

Offered by Solvay’s global business unit Technology Solutions, the products subject to this price adjustment are: ACCO-PHOS depressants; ACORGA extraction reagents; AERO promoters; AERODRI surfactants; AEROFLOAT promoters; AEROFROTH frothers; AEROMINE promoters; AEROPHINE promoters; CYANEX extraction reagents;
CYBREAK defoamers; CYFLOC flocculants; CYQUEST modifiers; MAX HT scale inhibitors; OREPREP frothers;
and PHOSFLOW scale inhibitors.

The price adjustment addresses the global inflationary environment and unprecedented raw material, energy and logistics costs, which have been further heightened by geopolitical tensions and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

These price increases are necessary to maintain the high quality standards that Solvay’s customers have come to expect and to provide security of supply.

As MRC reported before, earlier this month, Solvay partnered with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials to recycle end-of-life medical components. New collaboration will help customers reach sustainability goals for high-performance Udel PSU polymers in demanding applications.

We remind that Belgian chemicals group Solvay has suspended operations and new investments in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. The suspension is temporary and will be reviewed in due course, a spokesperson said in early March, 2022, adding that the company had put a task force in place to manage the impact of the measures.

We also remind that in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

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.
MRC