Chemours Q1 income increased

Chemours Q1 income increased

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemours reported on Monday a year-on-year rise in Q1 net income because sales rose faster than costs, said the company.

Quarter on quarter, volumes rose by 3%, although production continued to be constrained because of limited supplies of ore, which are needed to make titanium dioxide (TiO2). Chemours expects challenges in securing ore supplies will continue into the second half of the year.

For Thermal & Specialized Solutions, volumes rose 1% and pricing rose 40%. Chemours noted strong end-markets with the exception of automobiles. The automotive industry continues to struggle with shortages of semiconductors.

Meanwhile, regulators around the world continue to phase out older generations of refrigerants, which is increasing demand for newer products such as Chemours' Opteon line of hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). Quarter on quarter, volumes rose by 23% and pricing rose by 21%. The segment makes fluorochemicals.

For Advanced Performance Materials, volumes rose by 3% and pricing rose by 15%. Pricing rose to offset higher costs for raw materials and energy. In addition, Chemours sold higher-margin products to the advanced electronics and clean-energy markets.

Volumes rose because of higher global demand in nearly every region and end-market. Quarter on quarter, volumes rose by 6% and pricing rose by 5%. The segment makes fluoropolymers such as Teflon.

As per MRC, Chemours has suspended business with Russian entities in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

As per MRC, Chemours says it is looking to achieve a 60% absolute reduction of operations-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition to refrigerants, Chemours is a major producer of titanium dioxide, industrial fluoropolymer resins and derivatives and other chemical solutions.

Chemours is a global leader in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, providing its customers in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining and oil refining operations and general industrial manufacturing. The company has approximately 6,500 employees and 30 manufacturing sites serving approximately 3,300 customers in approximately 120 countries in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.

Marathon Petroleum posted Q1 results

Marathon Petroleum posted Q1 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum’s first-quarter (Q1) sales and income shot up on the back of healthy operations at its Refining & Marketing (R&M) division, said the company.

The jump in income and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was possible due to healthy results at Marathon's R&M division, with the segment reporting adjusted EBITDA of USD1.4bn compared with USD23m in the Q1 2021.

The company said R&M margins were USD15.31/bbl in Q1 2022, up from USD10.16/bbl in the same quarter in 2021.

Between January-March, crude capacity utilisation stood at 91%, resulting in a total throughput of 2.8m bbl/day; in Q1 2021, crude capacity utilisation stood at 83%, with a total throughput of 2.6m bbl/day.

"This quarter we advanced our low carbon strategy with the announcement of our intent to form a joint venture with Neste at our Martinez Renewable Fuels Facility and a 15% Scope 3 absolute GHG [greenhouse gases] emission reduction target,” said Marathon’s CEO, Michael J. Hennigan.

As per MRC, Shell Plc’s trading unit Shell Western Supply and Trading, along with US refiners Valero Energy and Marathon Petroleum, are rushing to secure Ecuadorian barrels after America banned imports of Russian crude.

We remind, Neste Corporation has signed definitive agreements for the establishment of a 50/50 JV with US-based Marathon Petroleum. The JV will produce renewable diesel following a conversion project of Marathon's refinery in Martinez, California (the Martinez Renewable Fuels project). The closing of the JV is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including obtaining the necessary permits, which depend upon certification of a final Environmental Impact Report.

Uniper talks to German government, Gazprom about rouble payment scheme

Uniper talks to German government, Gazprom about rouble payment scheme

MOSCOW (MRC) -- -Uniper remains in talks with Gazprom and the German government over how to implement Moscow's demand to pay for Russian gas in roubles, which the European Commission said would breach sanctions, said Reuters.

Uniper, in presentation slides published along with final first-quarter results, cited "ongoing discussions with German government and Gazprom on potential implementation" of the decree, which has stoked fears that supplies may be disrupted. The company, Germany's largest importer of Russian gas in which Finland's Fortum owns 78%, declined to comment on details of the talks, only saying that no binding assessment had been made as of now.

Uniper shares were down 3.6% at 1355 GMT after the company also unveiled a six-fold increase in its net debt to 1.98 B euros (USD2.09 B), driven up by soaring energy prices that have caused a greater liquidity need to secure contracts. Uniper's gas midstream business covers a portfolio of around 370 TWh of long-term gas supply contracts, of which about 200 TWh originate from Russia.

The European Commission late on Monday said complying with Russia's proposed scheme in full would breach existing EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, but promised more detailed guidance on what companies can and cannot legally do.

Brussels suggested last month that buyers of Russian gas could make sanctions-compliant payments if they declare payments complete once they have been made in euros and before their conversion into roubles. Russia's decree says, however, that a buyer's obligation would be deemed complete only after the foreign currency was converted to roubles.

Uniper last week said that it was planning to transfer payments in euros to a Russian account in the future and that the first payment under the mechanism was due at end-May, adding no final decision had been made.

As per MRC, Russia and China have agreed a second long-term gas supply deal, this time for 10 billion cubic metres (bcm)/year which will take total contractual supply between the two countries to 48bcm/year. Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a long-term Sales and Purchase Agreement for natural gas to be supplied via the Far Eastern route.

In January, Gazprom completed a feasibility study for the Soyuz Vostok pipeline that would become an extension of the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline through Mongolia and which would have a capacity of 50bcm/year. In addition to the latest supply contract and the existing Power of Siberia contract, this would take potential nameplate supply from Russia to China close to 100bcm/year.

We remind, that in December 2020, SIBUR Holding, Russia’s leading petrochemicals company and one of the most rapidly growing petrochemicals businesses globally, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China’s leading energy and chemical company, have closed the deal to set up a joint venture (JV) at the Amur Gas Chemical Complex after obtaining all the necessary approvals from the regulators of both countries. SIBUR and Sinopec will hold interest in the JV in the amount of 60% and 40%, respectively.

PJSC Gazprom is a Russian energy company engaged in exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sale of gas, gas condensate and oil, as well as production and sale of heat and electricity. The largest company in Russia, the largest gas company in the world, owns the longest gas transmission system (over 160,000 km). It is the world leader in the industry.

Covestro Q1 earnings increased

Covestro Q1 earnings increased

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro’s first-quarter (Q1) earnings and sales rose healthily year on year but the German chemicals major has reduced its full-year outlook on the back of lower global GDP growth expected and China’s stringent lockdown measures, said the company.

Covestro said late on Monday, following stock markets’ closure in Europe, that it was lowering its EBITDA outlook for 2022 by EUR500m. “This is a consequence of the ongoing COVID 19-lockdown in China, particularly around the Shanghai region, further significantly increasing energy and raw material costs and an assumed lower-than-expected global economic growth,” said Covestro.

For the second quarter, for example, the producer said it expected EBITDA to come in between EUR430-530m, a sharp slowdown from Q1’s EUR806m. Expectations for free operating cash flow (FOCF) were also sharply reduced.

Chemical equity analysts at Germany’s Baader Bank said on Tuesday Covestro’s share price was likely to take a hit this week but “part of the reduced guidance might be already” included in the share price, which has underperformed peers as of late. Covestro's stock opened trading on Tuesday down nearly 6%, compared with Monday's close, at EUR39.00/share.

“Reduced 2022 guidance [for EBITDA and FOCF] comes as a negative surprise and indicates 17% on 2022 EBITDA and 40% on 2022 FOCF downward revision needed if the midpoint of the guidance is taken,” said the Baader analysts. “According to Covestro, the Chinese lockdowns have at the beginning not impacted local production and ‘only’ the logistics but, while the storage capacities of Covestro are filled, there is not just a delaying effect of the delivery as a result, but also a reduced production in China as a consequence."

As per MRC, Covestro is expanding its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Films in the Platilon range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics and schedules to complete the new facilities as early as the end of 2023.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of PC granules (excluding exports from Belarus) totalled 7,800 tonnes in January 2022, down by 4% year on year (8,100 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2021 sales of EUR 15.9 billion, Covestro has 50 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Oil falls on China growth worries as EU weighs Russian crude ban

Oil falls on China growth worries as EU weighs Russian crude ban

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns over weak economic growth in China, the world's top oil importer, overshadowed fears supply might be crimped by a potential European Union ban on Russian crude, said Reuters.

Brent crude futures were down USD3.73, or 3.4%, to $103.41 a barrel at 1403 GMT, while U.S. WTI crude futures fell USD3.98, or 3.8%, to USD100.71 a barrel. Markets in Japan, Britain, India and across Southeast Asia were closed for public holidays on Monday. China released data showing factory activity in the world's second-largest economy contracted for a second month to its lowest since February 2020 because of COVID lockdowns.

"A slowing to that extent, when China is already suffering from a property bust and worries about its (until recently) increased regulation, is potentially a major issue for commodity markets and the world economy," said Tobin Gorey, a Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst, in a note. On the supply side, Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday it would temporarily resume operations at the Zueitina oil terminal after it declared force majeure in late April on some shipments as political protesters forced a number of oil facilities to suspend operations.

Limiting the downside for prices was the EU leaning towards banning Russian oil imports by the end of the year, according to two EU diplomats, after talks between the European Commission and EU member states over the weekend. The European Commission may spare Hungary and Slovakia from the embargo due to their strong dependency on Russian oil, two EU officials said on Monday, as the Commission is set to finalize its next batch of sanctions on Russia on Tuesday.

Around half of Russia's 4.7 MMbpd of crude exports go to the EU, supplying about a quarter of the EU's oil imports in 2020. While Western countries have refrained from buying Russian oil due to sanctions on those exports, the impact on global supply has been somewhat cushioned as India has been picking up heavily-discounted Russian cargoes.

Still, "Russia’s ability to redirect all unwanted cargoes from the West to Asia is limited", consultancy Rystad Energy said. "In the case of embargoes, Russia will be forced to cut production further as it lacks storage capacity for extra crude volumes."

We remind, US oil refiners expect strong first-quarter earnings as margins to sell gasoline and diesel strengthened due to a steep dropoff in refining capacity and crude oil supplies tightened because of Russia's war with Ukraine.
Refining capacity worldwide has dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, with several less profitable oil refineries closing in the last two years. However, worldwide fuel demand has rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels, boosting profits for facilities that are still operating.

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.