Oil edges up after steep losses ahead of U.S. debt ceiling vote

Oil edges up after steep losses ahead of U.S. debt ceiling vote

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices edged up on Wednesday after steep losses in the prior session, as market participants awaited an expected vote on a bipartisan deal to lift the USD31.4-T U.S. debt ceiling, said Reuters.

Brent crude futures for August delivery rose 11 cents to USD73.82 a barrel by 0013 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) gained 8 cents to USD69.54 a barrel. Both fell more than 4% on Tuesday. Brent's July contract, which expires on Wednesday, and the U.S. benchmark were on track for monthly declines of more than 7% and 9%, respectively.

Top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday urged members of his party to support the deal even as he faced a direct challenge from some, which weighed on oil prices during the previous session. Still, a key party hardliner said he would likely support the measure in a critical procedural vote, which would allow it to clear a pivotal House of Representatives Rules Committee with a Republican majority. The committee was due to vote later on whether to advance the 99-page bill.

The debt deadline nearly coincides with the June 4 meeting of OPEC+ - the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia. Traders were uncertain about whether the group will increase output cuts as a slump in prices weighs on the market.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman last week warned short-sellers betting oil prices would fall to "watch out" in a possible signal that OPEC+ may cut output. However, comments from Russian oil officials and sources, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, indicate the world's third-largest oil producer is leaning toward leaving output unchanged.

In April, Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC+ announced further oil output cuts of around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing the total volume of cuts by OPEC+ to 3.66 million bpd, according to Reuters calculations.

Market participants also awaited industry data on U.S. crude stockpiles due later on Wednesday. The data was delayed by a day because of a U.S. holiday earlier this week. Seven analysts polled by Reuters estimated on average that crude inventories fell by about 1.2 million barrels in the week to May 26.

We remind, Russia is leaning towards leaving oil production volumes unchanged ahead of an OPEC+ policy meeting on June 4 because Moscow is content with current prices and output. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other allies, surprised the market on April 2 with further output cuts that pushed up the price of oil.


Nexam progresses in efforts to boost rPET content in products

Nexam progresses in efforts to boost rPET content in products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nexam Chemicals has achieved a new milestone in its efforts to increase the recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) content in its products, said Packaging-gateway.

The company specialises in developing solutions that improve the properties and performance of plastics. It invents, develops, manufactures and sells additives to various plastics companies across the globe.

Under the new milestone, Nexam has succeeded in using their additive technology to increase the overall amount of rPET in its offerings. The solution is now fully developed and approved for technical use.

Furthermore, the company has secured its first production order for thermoformed food packaging. The order has an estimated value of approximately Skr0.5m. Nexam CEO Ronnie Tornqvist said: “We see an increasing interest in our products in this type of application and we have several ongoing projects in Europe.

“This type of food packaging, together with our additives in recycled PET for fibre, are two areas with great potential.” Since 2022, the company has been working on a project in collaboration with an Israel-based food packaging manufacturer to boost the amount of rPET in its products.

The company said that the additives help in restoring and improving some of the base properties of the plastics, which are often lost during the recycling process. In order to avoid this, the company uses its reactive recycling method to upcycle rPET content, instead of using traditional methods.

Tornqvist added: “Our additives open the door for the majority of actors to use recycled plastic at a low cost in the manufacture of products that are aimed at areas with higher demands on both quality and durability.

We remind, Nasdaq First North-listed Nexam Chemical – which invents, develops, produces and sells additives to the plastics industry worldwide – has continued success with additives for PET recycling in South Korea. The order has a value of approximately SEK 2 million and will be delivered during February, March and April 2023. This builds further confidence in the Reactive Recycling product portfolio.


Lyondell Basell delays refining business exit to 2025

Lyondell Basell delays refining business exit to 2025

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemical maker Lyondell Basell Industries said on Wednesday that it plans to delay its refining business exit from year-end 2023 to no later than the end of the first quarter 2025, said Reuters.

The company said in April it would close its Houston refinery by the end of 2023 after two failed attempts to sell the plant, and the closing of Lyondell's five U.S. refineries in the past two years.

"Favorable inspections and consistent performance have given the company confidence to continue safe and reliable operations at the Houston site," Lyondell said on Wednesday.

The company said it will continue to look at future options for the Houston site once Lyondell exits oil refining, including low carbon initiatives such as producing blue and green hydrogen.

We remind, LyondellBasell (LYB) said it is moving ahead with engineering for a commercial scale advanced plastics waste recycling plant it intends to build at its Wesseling, Germany, production site together with Germany’s 23 Oaks Investments. The companies agreed to form a joint venture, called One Source Resources, that would operate the facility with capacity to convert the plastics waste generated by an estimated 1.3 million people into feedstock to make 50,000 t/y of new plastic materials.


PPG announced a four-year agreement with Fischer Homes

PPG announced a four-year agreement with Fischer Homes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced a four-year agreement with the 30th largest homebuilder, Fischer Homes, under which Fischer Homes will exclusively offer PPG paints products to its customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Georgia, said Polymerupdate.

The partnership will bring PPG’s high-quality products to new homeowners working with Fischer Homes, enhancing the already well-known design capabilities offered by the company.

“We are proud to partner with PPG to offer our customers a nationally recognized brand of professional-grade paints,” said Jorge Espinosa, market purchasing manager for Fischer Homes. “We are confident that the combination of our design expertise and PPG’s innovative paints and color options will produce beautiful results that exceed our customer expectations.”

The new partnership includes PPG’s full portfolio of professional-grade paints, backed by PPG’s global industry expertise and flexible and reliable customer service. In addition, PPG will join Fischer Homes in their partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by donating the paint and needed supplies for three St. Jude Dream Homes this year.

“PPG has been a leader in the paint and coatings industry for 140 years. We are excited to partner with Fischer Homes to bring our expertise and innovative, solution-driven products to its residential customers,” said Courtney Jungjohann Deemer, PPG general manager, U.S. trade, Architectural Coatings.

We remind, PPG will invest USD11 million to double the production capacity of its powder coatings plant in San Juan del Rio, Mexico. The expansion project is expected to be completed by mid-2023 and will allow the plant to meet the expected future demand for powder coatings in Mexico.

PPG is a leading supplier of powder coatings to the automotive, transportation, appliance, furniture and other markets. The company expanded the business with its 2020 acquisition of Alpha Coating Technologies, which manufactures powder coatings for light industrial applications and heat-sensitive substrates, and its 2021 acquisition of Worwag, which makes liquid, powder and film coatings for industrial and automotive applications. PPG recently agreed to acquire the powder coatings business of Arsonsisi, including a manufacturing plant in Verbania, Italy.


TotalEnergies and Bluepha to advance PLA/PHA adoption in China

TotalEnergies and Bluepha to advance PLA/PHA adoption in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies Corbion, a technology specialist in polylactic acid (PLA) and lactide monomers, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese synthetic biology company Bluepha, said Packaging-gateway.

Under this agreement, the two companies will work together to expedite the growth and adoption of PLA and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) based solutions in China’s market.

The development, advancement and expansion of these high-performance sustainable biomaterial solutions across the country will require both companies to leverage their expertise and resources.

The resources mainly include the integration of Bluepha’s PHA with TotalEnergies’ range of specially developed PLA polymer, called Luminy PLA technology.

TotalEnergies Corbion CEO Thomas Philipon said: “By combining the complementary properties of these materials, we will significantly expand the application possibilities for brand owners seeking fully biobased material solutions”

As per the terms of this MoU, TotalEnergies and Bluepha will collaboratively promote the market applications of their PLA and PHA technology in China.

Bluepha president and co-founder Teng Li said: “We are very excited about this collaboration with TotalEnergies Corbion. “TotalEnergies Corbion is a trustworthy partner and Bluepha PHA mixed with Luminy PLA would be as a Chinese saying, ‘Adding wings to the tiger’.

“Together, the two companies can give more opportunities to our downstream partners and contribute to a more sustainable future.” Bluepha specialises in synthetic biotechnology-based molecular and material innovation.

Late last year, Bluepha completed the construction of its PHA biorefinery, located in Yancheng in China’s Jiangsu province. The company said that it has already commenced production-related activities at this plant to develop PHA products.

The latest MoU signing comes a few days after TotalEnergies signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Xiamen Changsu Industrial to advance the adoption of biobased biaxial-oriented polyamide film across China.

We remind, TotalEnergies and Paprec, leader in plastic recycling in France, have signed a long-term commercial agreement to develop a French value chain for advanced recycling of plastic film wastes. The agreement will secure the supply of TotalEnergies' future advanced plastic recycling plant in Grandpuits. Following the terms of this agreement, Citeo, the main organization in charge of end-of-life household packaging in France, will provide a stream of flexible plastic waste sorted from post-consumer packaging.