China gasoline exports may hit 8-yr low in Feb on domestic demand recovery

China gasoline exports may hit 8-yr low in Feb on domestic demand recovery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's February gasoline exports may fall a second straight month to his their lowest in eight nyears as domestic consumption rebounds after the nation emerged from COVID lockdowns, industry and market sources said, likely buoying Asian refining margins, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Refiners in the world's No. 2 oil consumer began scaling back refined fuel exports in January as local demand rebounded, reversing a surge in exports in the fourth quarter of 2022. Lower gasoline exports from China will likely tighten regional supplies ahead of the peak summer driving season in northern hemisphere countries, driving refining margins in Asia upwards as buyers pay higher prices to secure cargoes.

China's February gasoline exports were estimated at between 285,000 tonnes and 360,000 tonnes, down from an estimated 840,000 tonnes for January, according to two China-based consultancies and two trade sources. This would be the lowest since gasoline exports of 224,000 tonnes in February 2015, Chinese customs data showed.

The exports have declined as road traffic in major Chinese cities recovered or surpassed year-ago levels, with migrant flows over the Lunar New Year festival period hitting a five-year high, real-time traffic data from Baidu showed. “Traffic is normal and there are no more restrictions, so domestic consumption of gasoline has been high during the annual Chinese New Year travel season,” said Vortexa's China oil market analyst, Emma Li.

Post-holiday commercial storage levels are also likely low, limiting export shipments, Li said. Asia's benchmark gasoline cracks have been trading above USD10 a barrel since mid-January - a six-month high - mainly because of the drop in Chinese supplies and some opportunistic arbitrage demand from the United States.

China's jet fuel seaborne exports may also fall in February to 400,000 tonnes versus around 500,000 tonnes in January, two other Singapore-based traders estimated. Domestic demand is increasing with weekly air passenger figures exceeding 10 million from late January, the highest in at least 10 months, according to flight data provider VariFlight.

Last week, domestic air passenger numbers were at 86% of pre-pandemic levels, VariFlight said. The resumption of international flights, however, will push up demand for refuelling airplanes at Chinese airports - counted as exports - lifting total February jet fuel exports to 1.83 million tonnes from 1.2 million last month, according to consultancy JLC.

We remind, Linde Engineering (Pullach, Germany) has signed an agreement with BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a synthesis gas (syngas) plant in Zhanjiang, China.

Symrise to acquire minority stake in Synergio

Symrise to acquire minority stake in Synergio

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In Germany, Symrise Cosmetic Ingredients has acquired a minority stake in Synergio, an Israeli producer of plant-based antimicrobial solutions, said the company.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Founded in 2009, Synergio uses biochemistry and a computational platform to develop bioactives for healthier and more sustainable personal care and cosmetic products.

Dr. Joern Andreas, President Scent & Care at Symrise, says in a press statement that Synergio’s bioactives fit seamlessly into Symrise’s Product Protection portfolio. “It allows us to offer customers the newest and most innovative sustainable plant-based beauty solutions. The partnership will accelerate the development of broad-spectrum antimicrobial solutions. They will help our customers to create sustainable personal care products.”

We remind, Symrise, a Germany-based flavours and fragrances producer, has launched new application, development, and sensory laboratories in Dubai, UAE. The EUR 1-M centre will decode, deliver, and design taste solutions for top food and beverages brands. It had recently transferred to the iconic 'Gold Tower Building' in the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), the region's dedicated hub for global trade, specialist, and business sectors in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) free zone. The units at the new centre are made to back the development of taste solutions and consumer-led winning concepts for high-growth categories, culinary, confectionery, dairy, beverages, and snacks.

U.S. diesel prices drop as Europe ban on Russian imports begins

U.S. diesel prices drop as Europe ban on Russian imports begins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. diesel prices have dropped this month and could go lower, analysts said, an unexpected swoon that coincided with the start of a British and European Union ban on Russian fuel imports, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The falling demand behind the price drop has allowed the United States to rebuild stocks, especially along the East Coast where scarce supplies six months ago raised prospects of curbs on U.S. exports. Lower prices could ease inflation worries that have occupied investors.

Distillate fuels – including heating oil, jet fuel and diesel – were in short supply during much of 2022 as refinery closures and strong demand combined to lift prices. Heating oil futures had hit USD5.14 per gallon in late April and mostly remained above USD3 per gallon until this month.

In part, European buyers had increased purchases of Russian distillates ahead of the import ban that took effect on Feb. 4. A relatively warm winter across the United States and Europe and lower commercial trucking activity lowered demand. Those factors helped push up U.S. inventories this week to 120.5 million barrels, the highest level in a year.

“This week was supposed to be when diesel prices blew out to the moon, but that’s not close to what happened,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho. Diesel demand by truckers fell off at the end of this year as high inflation impacted U.S. demand for goods. The Cass Freight Index for December, which measures cross-country shipments, showed a 3.9% year-on-year decline in shipments.

The closely watched Cowen/AFS Freight Index also showed a 13.7% year-on-year drop in truckload volumes for the fourth quarter of 2022. Demand for one type of distillate - jet fuel - is expected to rise ahead of the summer vacation, according to Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. Refiners also have a heavy slate of planned downtime at their facilities, which has the potential to send inventories tightening again in the next two months.

We remind, Solvay in advanced negotiations to divest its stake in Rusvinyl. The company confirms it is in advanced negotiations to divest its stake in Rusvinyl, an independent 50/50 joint venture in Russia, to its joint venture partner, Sibur, said the company. In addition to the recently obtained preliminary clearance from Russian governmental authorities, the potential transaction is still subject to several other regulatory approvals. Solvay will keep the market informed if and when appropriate, in accordance with applicable law.

Dow declares quarterly dividend of 70% per share

Dow declares quarterly dividend of 70% per share

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow has declared a dividend of 70 cents per share, payable March 10, 2023, to shareholders of record on February 28, 2023, said the company.

This marks the 446th consecutive dividend paid by the Company or its affiliates since 1912.

We remind, Dow Inc. outlined a series of targeted actions aligned to its previously stated plan to achieve USD1 bn in cost savings in 2023. The proactive actions will further optimize the Company's cost structure in response to near-term macroeconomic uncertainty, while maintaining its long-term competitiveness across the economic cycle.
Specifically, Dow expects to realize USD1 billion in cost savings in 2023 through: structural improvements of USD500 million, maintaining a low cost-to-serve operating model.

Dow combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance leadership to achieve profitable growth and help deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world.

Kuraray completes construction of new isoprenes plant in Thailand

Kuraray completes construction of new isoprenes plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuraray Co. (Tokyo) announced that construction of a new plant for isoprene-related businesses has been completed and will soon start operations in stages, said the company.

The construction was undertaken by Bangkok-based subsidiaries Kuraray GC Advanced Materials Co., Ltdand Kuraray Advanced Chemicals (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

The new Thai plant will contribute to the continued growth of isoprene-related businesses by strengthening the global supply system and meeting rising global demand for the 3-Methyl-1.5-Pentanediol (MPD), SEPTON hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC), and GENESTAR heat-resistant polyamide-9T (PA9T), which were developed using proprietary Kuraray technology.

The new facilities have been designed to produce 13,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of PA9T, 16,000 m.t./yr of HSBC and 5,000 m.t./yr of MPD. The company invested around ?40 billion (USD310 million) in the project.

We remind, Kuraray Co Ltd has released its consolidated financial results for the 1Q FY 2022 of the fiscal year ending 31 Dec 2022 (1 Jan-31 Mar 2022). In the 1Q FY 2022 (1 Jan-31 Mar 2022), the world economy continued to recover as restrictions on economic activities were eased and more vaccinations were administered in countries around the world despite resurgences of COVID-19.