India fuels demand slips in January

India fuels demand slips in January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's fuel demand slipped in January after hitting a nine-month peak in December, hit by lower mobility due to cold weather in parts of the country and a slowdown in industrial activity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, was about 4.6% lower than the previous month at 18.7 MMt in January, data from Indian oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed on Wednesday. Sales of diesel fell 7.6% in January from a month ago to 7.18 MMt, while sales of gasoline, or petrol, fell 5.3% to 2.82 MMt, the PPAC data showed.

"Festive season is over, and cold temperatures might have played a role," said Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq. India's manufacturing industry started the year on a weaker note, expanding at its slowest pace in three months in January as output and sales growth slackened, a private survey showed. On a yearly basis, however, fuel consumption was up 3.3%. Sales of diesel rose 12.6%, while sales of petrol jumped 14.2%.

"Car sales remain strong... on the whole, Indian oil demand remains on the right track and will incentivize refiners to keep refinery runs high," Haq said. Passenger vehicle (PV) sales jumped 22% year-on-year to 3,40,220 units in January, while it grew 8% from pre-COVID 2020 levels, helped by healthy bookings and improved supplies, data from the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations showed.

With an investment boom, India is set to become world's fastest-growing economy in 2023, likely to spark sharp increases in industrial activity, while the central bank puts inflation relief measures in place. Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales decreased 2.1% year on year to 2.51 MM, while naphtha sales dipped 14.4% to 1.23 MMt. Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, fell about 20%, while fuel oil use jumped 9.1% last month.

We remind, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) unveiled India’s first Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine technology solution for heavy duty trucks flagged off by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Energy Week in Bangalore. The Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2ICE) powered trucks will emit near zero emissions, deliver performance on par with conventional diesel trucks and reduce noise and with projected reductions in operating costs thus redefining the future of Green Mobility.

Shell Catalysts & Technologies to increase pricing of catalyst products globally

Shell Catalysts & Technologies to increase pricing of catalyst products globally

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell Catalysts & Technologies (SC&T) announces a global price increase of its refining and chemical catalyst products lines, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This announcement comes as a result of unprecedented global economic challenges which include a rise in energy and raw material costs, supply chain stresses, plus the increased cost of transportation of goods.

“Shell has experienced significant cost increases that have affected our catalysts business around the world. After careful evaluation of the current market dynamics and global economic challenges we have decided to increase the prices of our catalyst products,” said Elise H. Nowee, president, Shell Catalyst & Technologies. “We are (and remain) committed to continue providing high quality catalyst products and services to our customers and sustainably create value for our customers today and in the future.”

As an owner operator, SC&T understands the breadth and depth of the challenges created as costs increase. Along with leveraging our size to minimize material and logistic costs which translate directly toward savings, we are focused on working with customers to identify areas for operational improvements through reduced energy consumption, minimized byproducts, and maximized yield recovery.

We remind, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC announced it has commenced operations of its Pennsylvania Chemical project, Shell Polymers Monaca (SPM). The Pennsylvania facility is the first major polyethylene manufacturing complex in the Northeastern United States and has a designed output of 1.6 MMt annually.

Lotte Chemical forms clean ammonia consultative body with RWE and Mitsubishi Corporation

Lotte Chemical forms clean ammonia consultative body with RWE and Mitsubishi Corporation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical announced it has formed a clean ammonia global consultative body with RWE, a German energy company, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, with a goal to cooperate and jointly develop a large-scale clean ammonia production and supply chain in Asia, Europe and US, said the company.

As part of this move the three companies on 7 February signed a joint study agreement (JSA) which will see the entities engage in joint research for the production and export project of clean ammonia, both blue and green, at the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas, where the largest energy export terminal in the US is located.

The companies noted that the Corpus Christi region has abundant natural gas reserves and is easy to utilise renewable energy, which is advantageous for the production of clean ammonia.

The project aims to produce up to 10m short tons of clean ammonia in stages, starting with the first production in 2030, and export ammonia to Asia and Europe through joint shipment facilities.

“We expect that companies with strengths in each field will contribute to revitalising the global hydrogen ammonia economy and carbon neutrality by carrying out joint research for the production and supply of clean ammonia,” said Hwang Jin-gu, Lotte Chemical head of the hydrogen energy business unit.

We remind, Lotte Chemical is exiting the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business with the sale of its 75.01% stake in LCPL (LOTTE CHEMICAL Pakistan Ltd). This divestment is part of the company’s medium-term strategy to strengthen its high value-added specialty materials business. LCPL, which produces 500,000 tonnes/year of PTA at Port Qasim in Karachi, will be sold to Pakistani chemical company Lucky Core Industries (LCI) for Korean won (W) 192.4bn (USD156m) – more than 13 times Lotte Chemical’s acquisition cost in 2009.

Univar expands with acquisition in Central America

Univar expands with acquisition in Central America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemicals distributor Univar Solutions has acquired ChemSol Group, a distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, and Honduras, said the company.

The acquisition of ChemSol will enhance Univar’s footprint in the region, as well as its formulation and commercial offering across an array of growth markets, including beauty and personal care; pharmaceutical excipients; food; coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers; lubricants and metalworking fluids.

Univar announced the acquisition on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

We remind, Univar Solutions BV, a subsidiary of Univar Solutions Inc, a leading global solutions provider to users of speciality ingredients and chemicals, announced that the company has been appointed as distributor for Marott Graphic Services (MGS Chemistry Group) unique rust protection additives for inks, coatings, rust prevention oils, and lubricants and metalworking fluids in Europe. The new agreement between the two companies includes additives for oils, lubricants, and coatings in the TINSCO range of rust inhibitors.

North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a 20th straight week

North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a 20th straight week

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a 20th straight week, with loadings for the week ended 4 February down 2.0% year on year to 45,381, led by a 3.5% decline in the US, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the first five weeks of 2023 ended 4 February, North American chemical rail traffic was down 5.6% year on year to 218,205 railcar loadings, with US traffic down by 9.8% or 154,499 loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic fell for 19th straight week, with loadings for the week ended 28 January down 5.9% year on year to 44,803, led by a 10.0% decline in the US. For the first four weeks of 2023 ended 28 January North American chemical rail traffic was down 6.5% year on year to 172,824 railcar loadings, with US traffic down by 11.4% or 15,641 loadings.