Polyolefins pressured by weak demand and rising supply

Polyolefins pressured by weak demand and rising supply

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In July, the price development for European standard thermoplastics varied widely between the different material classes, said Sustainableplastics.

Polyolefin and PVC prices faster than feedstock costs, polystyrene prices surged following a hike in the cost of styrene monomer and PET prices also increased amid paraxylene shortages.

L/LDPE and HDPE prices fell by more than the EUR100/tonne decline in the C2 costs due to weak demand and rising import volumes. The propylene reference price settled down by EUR120/tonne as a result of falling naphtha costs. PP price tumbled much more than the cost reduction due to low sales and over-supply.

PVC prices dropped for the third month in a row due to rising supply and slower demand with decreases in excess of the pro-rata EUR50/tonne drop in ethylene costs.

PS prices increased in line with the EUR155/tonne increase in the styrene monomer reference price, which settled at an all-time high of EUR2,340/tonne.

The European PET market is going through turbulent times as a result of paraxylene feedstock shortages. Following an increase of EUR305/tonne to a record high level for the July PX reference price, producers settled for a PET price rise of EUR100/tonne in view of good availability supplemented by imports, and hesitant demand.

According to ICIS-MRC Price Report, Kazanorgsintez switched one of its three reactors to LLDPE production and this state of affairs will continue until the shutdown for maintenance. The scheduled downtime is expected from 7 September (total shutdown of PE production from 20 September) and up to 10 October.
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Wanhua Chemical and WEGO signed a strategic cooperation agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wanhua Chemical and WEGO signed a strategic cooperation agreement, said the company.

The two sides shared views on further strengthening cooperation and innovation in the field of health industry by using high-grade medical resin materials.

Mr. Chen Lin, Chairman of WEGO, said that a large number of high-end medical equipment has extremely stringent requirements on their raw materials. He hoped to expand the field and level of cooperation with Wanhua Chemical to jointly lead the steady development of a high-end medical industry.

Mr. Liao Zengtai, Chairman of Wanhua Chemical, agreed that Wanhua Chemical would give full play to its technological innovation advantages and launch more key medical materials to contribute to the improvement of the medical device industry as well as the healthy lives of human beings.

In the future, Wanhua Chemical and WEGO will cooperate to build a safe and resilient industrial and supply chain, and work together with relevant parties to continuously promote the deep integration of diversified economies, adding new momentum for the realization of creating a better life for mankind.

We remind, Wanhua Chemical, a major petrochemical producer in China, says it will spend USD3.6 billion to build a chemical complex in Penglai, China, by 2024. The project’s centerpiece will be a propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH) with 900,000 metric tons per year of capacity. The complex will also make propylene oxide, polyether polyols, ethylene oxide, acrylic acid, polypropylene (PP), and other products.
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Wanhua received regulatory approval for cracker project

Wanhua received regulatory approval for cracker project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wanhua Chemical has obtained approval from Shandong provincial development and reform commission for its No 2 cracker with 1.2m tonne/year capacity and downstream polyolefin project at Yantai, said the company announced.

Major derivatives will include a 250,000 tonnes/year of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, two polyolefin elastomer (POE) units each at 200,000 tonnes/year of capacity, a 200,000 tonne/year butadiene (BD), a 400,000 tonnes/year of aromatics extraction, and a 550,000 tonne/year cracked gasoline hydrogenation plant.

Constructions are estimated to take three years.

The timeline is not revealed.

As per MRC, Wanhua Chemical, a major petrochemical producer in China, says it will spend USD3.6 billion to build a chemical complex in Penglai, China, by 2024. The project’s centerpiece will be a propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH) with 900,000 metric tons per year of capacity. The complex will also make propylene oxide, polyether polyols, ethylene oxide, acrylic acid, polypropylene (PP), and other products.

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Major traders, banks cut business ties with Russia-backed Indian refiner

Major traders, banks cut business ties with Russia-backed Indian refiner

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Many global oil traders and banks have stopped dealing with Indian refiner Nayara Energy, a Rosneft affiliate, as they are worried about Western sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Nayara per se has not been sanctioned as part of the international response to what Russia calls its "special military action" against Ukraine but sanctions are in place against Rosneft. The Russian energy giant owns about 49% of Nayara which is India's second-largest private refiner, while Kesani Enterprises Co Ltd, a consortium led by Trafigura Group and Russia's UCP Investment Group, holds 49.13%.

Most trading firms including Vitol and Glencore as well as producers in Canada, Latin America and Europe have declined to directly sell crude to Nayara, according to one of the people. The sources were not authorized to speak to the media and declined to be identified.

They said Nayara was now dependent on state-run Middle Eastern producers, Chinese traders, companies supplying Russian oil as well as local crude oil producers for its 400,000 barrels per day Vadinar refinery in western Gujarat state. "It is increasingly becoming difficult for the company," said one of the sources, adding that it has been unable to hedge for cracks and inventory.

Companies that have declined to deal with Nayara include Phillips 66, Occidental Petroleum Corp, Cepsa , Equinor, Gunvor, Koch, Petrogal, Respsol, Shell, Suncor Energy, Ecopetrol and TotalEnergies, the second person said. Banks and other firms that have refused to work on new hedging positions for Nayara include Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan, France's Engie as well as the core banking units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, they said.

The trading firms, companies and banks either declined to comment or did not respond to Reuters emails seeking comment. Nayara, which accounts for 8% of India's refining capacity, said it had longstanding relationships with its suppliers, works with a diverse set of suppliers and has appropriate contracts for the purchase of crude oil.

"Apart from honoring the long- and shorter-term contracts, our suppliers are also offering, and we pick up crudes on a spot basis on competitive terms," it said in an emailed statement. Nayara has been a key buyer of Russian oil, snapping up the discounted product shunned by some western companies and countries. The higher intake of Russian oil and improved product cracks helped Nayara's quarterly profit climb to a record 35.6 billion Indian rupees (USD446 million) in April-June.

Those results, however, mask concerns about its operating environment. Some foreign banks and India’s HDFC Bank have stopped offering trade credits for oil imports, banking and industry sources told Reuters in April.

India's CARE Ratings has also placed Nayara's long-term ratings on 'credit watch with negative implications' due to sanctions against Moscow. Some of Nayara's top management officials including its chief financial officer have left the company since Western nations began to impose sanctions on Russia. The company has not elaborated on the reasons for the departures.

As per MRC, U.S. crude oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel. The operating levels will keep U.S. gasoline prices below their spring highs while providing strong earnings to refiners, analysts said. Many aim to run at rates similar to the second quarter's 94% average utilization rate.

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Clean Fuel refinery expansion will reduce Thailand energy dependence

Clean Fuel refinery expansion will reduce Thailand energy dependence

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailoil's ongoing expansion and upgrading works at its Laemchabang plant (Chonburi province, approximately 125km from Bangkok) will enable the state-owned oil company to increase its crude oil processing capacity from 275,000 bpd to an estimated 400,000 bpd upon completion in 2023, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

These expansion works have required an estimated investment of USD4.8bn since project approval in 2018, to upgrade from a light crude processing plant to include, among others, a crude distillation unit (CDU), a hydrogen manufacturing unit, and an energy recovery unit (ERU). This latter unit will generate up to 250MW of electricity and 175 tons of steam per hour, which will cover the energy needs of the rest of the plant.

Part of the plant expansion work, also known as the Clean Fuel Project, involves the installation of new pre-assembled rack modules (PAR). STP&I, a publicly owned company specialising in the design and construction of steel structures, sought Sarens' collaboration for the lifting and assembly of various PAR units of between 104 and 392 tons at the new Thailoil facilities.

For this operation, Sarens chose its Terex-Demag CC6800 crane, a crawler crane model with a maximum load capacity of 1250 tons, which had to be adapted with the manufacture of a multi lug spreader bar arrangement to ensure safe lifting operations for the two heaviest modules of 380.7 and 391.9 tons. Both modules had different lug points, which needed to be fixed to the crane to prevent unwanted movement or detachment during the process.

Once operational in 2023, this plant will enable Thailand to become a major crude oil processing hub in Asia, improving the quality of fuels consumed in the country, increasing energy independence from third countries, while reducing the environmental footprint of cargo ships transporting processed crude oil from those countries to Thailand.

Sarens has more than 60 years of international experience in the development and installation of strategically important projects. In the energy sector, Sarens has been directly involved in the expansion of the S-Oil plant in Ulsan, South Korea, in the construction of the Petroperu refinery in Talara (Peru), and in the Skikda refinery in Algeria.

We remind, U.S. crude oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel. The operating levels will keep U.S. gasoline prices below their spring highs while providing strong earnings to refiners, analysts said. Many aim to run at rates similar to the second quarter's 94% average utilization rate. "Refiners will continue to run hard in Q3," Tudor, Pickering, Holt refining analyst Matthew Blair said in a note this week, adding he would not be surprised "if Q3 runs weren't higher" than June given past conservative forecasts.
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