China demand optimism sets oil on track for strong weekly gain

China demand optimism sets oil on track for strong weekly gain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices rose on Friday and were on track to gain over 7% on the week due to solid signs of demand growth in top oil importer China and expectations of less aggressive interest rate rises in the United States, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Brent crude futures rose by 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $84.34 a barrel by 1420 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 44 cents, or 0.6%, to USD78.83 a barrel. Brent has jumped 7.3% so far this week and WTI is up 7.1%, recouping most of last week's losses.

Analysts said recent Chinese crude purchases and a pick-up in road traffic fueled confidence in a demand recovery in the world's second-largest economy following the reopening of its borders and easing of COVID-19 curbs after protests last year. In another encouraging sign, ANZ analysts said a congestion index covering the 15 Chinese cities with the largest number of vehicle registrations had risen 31% from a week earlier.

" gains are penciled in as traders look ahead to a further drop in Russian supply and the normalization in China's fuel demand," PVM oil analyst Stephen Brennock said. "Before then, however, renewed bouts of selling cannot be discounted given the current looseness of the oil balance," he added.

Oil prices have also been buoyed by a slide in the dollar to a nearly nine-month low, after data showed U.S. inflation fell for the first time in 2-1/2 years, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of rate hikes. A weaker greenback tends to boost demand for oil, as it makes the commodity cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

We remind, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation officially published the “China Energy Outlook 2060” (the “Outlook”) on December 28 in Beijing. This is Sinopec’s first publicly released research findings of their medium and long-term energy outlook, providing a new perspective for the scientific planning of transformation and development of China’s energy and chemical industries. This in the context of the “Dual-Carbon” goals laid out by the Chinese government, with the core goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Covestro announces preliminary results for fiscal year 2022

Covestro announces preliminary results for fiscal year 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro’s group accounts for fiscal year 2022, preliminary full-year financial figures deviate from capital market expectations, based on the average values of latest consensus estimates of financial analysts, said the company.

"Covestro's business development last year was clearly impacted by the sharp rise in energy and raw material costs, high inflation and a weakening global economy," says Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. "Nevertheless, our products are part of the solution to the current crisis and essential for a sustainable and circular future."

Dr. Thomas Toepfer, CFO of Covestro, adds: "The recessionary environment and the extraordinary depreciation, in particular as a result of the current difficult economic conditions in Europe, additionally weighed on the Group's earnings. However, our record-high sales and clearly positive free operating cash flow also show that even in these difficult times we are succeeding in generating cash. Our balance sheet is very solid, so we are also prepared for a prolonged economic downturn."

Covestro provides already today the following preliminary key financial data for fiscal year 2022:

Preliminary sales amount to 17,968 million euros. The consensus expects this figure to be 17,999 million euros.

Preliminary EBITDA amounts to approx. 1,610 million euros. The previous guidance expected EBITDA to be between 1,700 million euros and 1,800 million euros. The consensus expects this figure to be 1,679 million euros.

Preliminary net income amounts to approx. –300 million euros. The consensus expects this figure to be 420 million euros. The Group's net income is particularly burdened by extraordinary depreciation of non-current assets in the amount of approx. 470 million euros and by adjustments of deferred tax assets in the amount of approx. 250 million euros.

Preliminary free operating cash flow (FOCF) amounts to approx. 130 million euros. The previous guidance expected FOCF to be between EUR 0 and EUR 100 million. The consensus expects this figure to be –39 million euros.
The Annual Report 2022 will be published on March 2, 2023.

We remind, Covestro has again been awarded an „A-“ rating in this year’s climate protection ranking by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This underpins Covestro’s climate protection efforts and maintains its position among the leading companies in this segment. After already achieving very good results last year, Covestro participated in the survey again this year and con-vinced with its complete focus on the circular economy.

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

BASF appoints new senior vice president of its global plastic additives business

BASF appoints new senior vice president of its global plastic additives business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has appointed Dr. Achim Sties to lead the global plastic additives business unit effective January 1, 2023. The headquarters of this business will be in Singapore, said the company.

Prior to his current role, Achim Sties was already heading the plastic additives business in Europe. He began his career with BASF in 2005 in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and held various positions in different functions in Europe and South America. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

“We proactively collaborate with our customers and the relevant stakeholders to create new value for plastics. Our new brand VALERAS™, under which we bundle all products and services of our plastic additives portfolio that deliver significant sustainability benefits, continuously evolves to support our customers on their plastics journey. We are combining our resources and expertise for plastic additives worldwide into a global business unit to focus on the increasing challenges and truly drive the business to the next level. I am excited to deliver on this promise with my team,” said Achim Sties.

We remind, BASF has broken ground on the third and final phase of the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) expansion project at its Verbund site in Geismar, Louisiana, announced in July 2022. The company will increase production capacity to approximately 600,000 metric tons per year by the middle of the decade to support the ongoing growth of its North American MDI customers.

BASF is a leading supplier, manufacturer, and innovation partner of plastic additives. Its comprehensive and innovative product portfolio includes additives that provide ease in processing, and heat and light resistance to a variety of polymers and applications including molded articles, films, fibers, sheets, and extruded profiles.

Solvay to relocate to new headquarters in Brussels

Solvay to relocate to new headquarters in Brussels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay announces the relocation of its headquarters from Neder-over-Heembeek to new facilities in Brussels, specifically designed and equipped to host the Group’s Research, Innovation and administration activities, said the company.

Located in the Brussels municipality of Haren, Solvay’s future HQ site is equipped with large research spaces, a high-performance digital infrastructure and great accessibility, providing Solvay’s employees with a future-ready, world class workplace that enhances innovation and collaboration.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for Solvay, offering a conducive environment for new ways of working, substantially enhancing our environmental impact relative to our existing location and providing a cost competitive solution lowering operating costs by two-thirds. The new site features state of the art science and research facilities as well as optimal collaboration conditions for our employees, partners and customers, where Solvay will be able to showcase its expertise and innovation. It responds to a need for reduced office spaces, following the implementation of teleworking for all administrative employees in 2020” said Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay. “Most importantly, this relocation project is in line with Solvay's strategic ambitions. The availability of additional facilities in the vicinity makes the move compatible with our project to create two new companies, both headquartered in Brussels."

Solvay has acquired the site which comes fully equipped with a high-performance infrastructure. The environmental performance of the buildings meets the highest standards, thanks in particular to excellent thermal insulation. Finally, the premises are fully wheelchair-accessible and have all the potential to ensure the well-being of Solvay’s teams with a high level of services, for example with regard to catering, and in the future, sports activities and a daycare center.

The move of all administrative and research teams to Solvay’s new home will be done gradually, over a transition period of 12 months starting in April 2023. The site can hold approximately 800 employees.

We remind, Solvay and Orbia recently announced their entry into a joint venture framework agreement to create a partnership for the production of suspension-grade polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), creating the largest capacity in North Americam said the company. As it is further stated in a press release, the joint venture will create the largest PVDF production facility for battery materials in the region. The total investment is estimated around 850 million USD, partially funded by a grant to Solvay from the U.S. Department of Energy for a total of 178 million USD.

Alexandra Coffey named Senior Sustainability Manager of KraussMaffei Group

Alexandra Coffey named Senior Sustainability Manager of KraussMaffei Group

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Effective 1 Jan. 2023, KraussMaffei Group has appointed Dr. Alexandra Coffey as Senior Sustainability Manager, reporting directly to the Management Board, said Sustainableplastics.

The position has been newly created by KraussMaffei and underscores the company’s dedication to becoming a completely sustainable company in the medium and long term. More specifically, KraussMaffei plans to reach the EcoVadis “Gold” rating level by 2026 and to achieve a corporate carbon footprint of zero and operate all plants worldwide in a CO2-neutral manner by 2030. In 2035, KraussMaffei will have a Product Carbon Footprint of zero, manufacturing its entire range of machines in a CO2-neutral manner.

Coffey was previously with the Schorghuber Group, where she was also responsible for sustainability. Her thematic focus areas are CO2, single-use plastics, the environment and supply chain sourcing obligations.

Her task will now be to further develop and implement KraussMaffei's global sustainability strategy. The company has set itself the goal of being one of the best machine and system manufacturers for the plastics industry in the areas of sustainability and cost-effectiveness by 2025.

"Striving for greater sustainability is an absolute must for us as a leading manufacturer of machinery and equipment for the production and processing of plastics and rubber. We are pursuing ambitious goals in this regard and are positioning ourselves accordingly for the future” said KraussMaffei board member Jorg Bremer.

We remind, KraussMaffei Group will transfer its KraussMaffei High Performance AG business into an independent unit operating under the Netstal name on 1 October. The new subgroup will manage the Netstal new machines and service business worldwide from its subsidiaries, according to KraussMaffei CEO Michael Ruf.