PET imports impact EU recycled content targets

PET imports impact EU recycled content targets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A major increase in PET imports threatens the competitiveness of the EU’s industry, along with its objective to improve the waste management of plastics, said Sustainableplastics.

PET imports doubled between 2021 and 2022, reaching 1.9Mt, driven by increased demand for rPET in the EU. India, China and Turkey were among the biggest exporters in terms of volumes and value followed by Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam.

As a result, imports represented nearly 30% of the total demand for PET in Europe in 2022, compared to only 23% in 2020. The rise has been attributed to the 2025 recycled content targets of 25% for beverage bottles, and consequent rise in rPET prices on the continent, it is a market shift that is strongly impacting the European industry.

“Following these concerning market developments, the EU has initiated an anti-dumping proceeding against China for the imports of PET throughout 2022,” said Herbert Snell, PRE PET Working Group vice chair and managing director at Multiport GmbH - MultiPet GmbH, part of the Veolia Group.

The recycled PET is imported into the EU at significantly lower prices. It is therefore vital to ensure the material is compliant with the stringent EU food contact regulations, and does not unfairly disadvantage Europe’s efforts to create a robust rPET industry. According to Casper van den Dungen, vice-president of Plastics Recyclers Europe, this will ‘additionally require full verification of the traceability of imported polymers by end users to avoid using self-declarations as the means of reporting recycled materials participating to the EU targets’.

Enforcement of the EU rules for goods and materials from outside the continent is key to maintaining a level playing field for all actors. Failure to do so will undermine all efforts to promote the circularity of plastic products placed on the market, as well as the substantial investments made in Europe in the recycling industry and its capacities.

We remind, MEGlobal has nominated its July 2023 monoethylene glycol (MEG) Asian Contract Price (ACP) at USD790/tonne, down by USD50/tonne from its June ACP, said the company. The price is on a CFR (cost & freight) Asia basis.

Neste investing EUR111 million at Porvoo to scale up liquefied plastic waste processing

Neste investing EUR111 million at Porvoo to scale up liquefied plastic waste processing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste has given the final green light to a project that will see the construction of upgrading facilities for liquefied plastic waste at its Porvoo refinery in Finland, said Sustainableplastics.

The company is spending EUR111 million on installing capacity to upgrade 150,000 tons of liquefied waste plastic per year. Next to building new assets, Neste will also retrofit existing assets at the Porvoo refinery to scale up chemical recycling fast and efficiently. The output - upgraded liquefied waste plastic - will be processed in the conventional refinery, replacing a portion of the fossil resources processed at the Porvoo refinery.

Liquefied waste plastic is the product obtained from pyrolysing plastic waste. Pyrolysis oil tends not to be able to be used as is, but requires three further processing steps - pretreatment, upgrading and refining - to turn it into better quality and usable feedstock for new plastics. By incorporating the upgrading step, Neste can opt to use a lower-quality plastic waste to serve as input feedstock. Following the upgrading step, it is then processed into a high-quality petrochemical feedstock in its existing refinery in Porvoo.

The present investment is part of a broader project called Pulse (Pretreatment and Upgrading of Liquefied waste plastic to Scale up circular Economy), which has received an EU Innovation Fund grant of 135 million euros if fully implemented and is targeting a total capacity of 400,000 tons per year.

“We have developed our capability to process circular raw material at the Porvoo refinery over the recent years and are now set to build a respective facility. The new facility is planned to be finalized in the first half of 2025,” said Markku Korvenranta, executive vice president in Neste’s Oil Products.

At the Porvoo refinery, the preparation work was successfully completed during the first half of 2023, enabling the construction work to commence without any delay. Neste’s ambition is to make the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. The company has committed to reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035, and reducing the carbon emission intensity of sold products by 50% by 2040.

We remind, Neste is looking to build capacities at its Porvoo site to process 400,000 tons of liquefied waste plastic per year in the course of project PULSE, which is funded by the EU Innovation Fund. From 2030 onwards, Neste wants to process more than 1 million tons of waste plastic per year.

Russia's June seaborne diesel exports rise amid growing output

Russia's June seaborne diesel exports rise amid growing output

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's seaborne diesel and gasoil exports are set to rise in June amid growing oil products output after refinery overhauls and sufficient stocks on the domestic market, data from traders and Refinitiv Eikon showed, said Reuters.

According to Refinitiv data and Reuters calculations, total diesel and gasoil exports from Russian ports rose in the first half of June by 5% to the same period in May to about 1.5 million tons, while ultra-low diesel exports increased almost by 15% to about 1.1 million tons.

Russia's offline primary oil refining capacity is expected to rise by 0.7 million tons in June from previous plan to 3.7 million tons, but still would be below the offline capacity in May, when it reached 4.95 million tons, Refinitiv data shows.

Since the full EU embargo on Russian oil products took effect on Feb. 5, traders have diverted diesel exports from Russian ports to countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Previously, Europe was the main buyer.

In June, Turkey remains the top destination for diesel exports from the Russian ports, totaling so far about a third of total supplies, Refinitiv data shows. The port of discharge had yet to be confirmed for around half the cargoes.

About 150,000 tons of diesel from the Russian ports were sent to Brazil since the start of June, another 93,000 tons and 70,000 tons - to African Morocco and Ghana, respectively.

Still, about 200,000 tons of Russian diesel are destined so far in June for STS loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata and for STS near Malta. The final destinations for those volumes are as yet unknown. "Usually, these cargoes are heading further to Turkey and Middle East countries," one trader said.

Another 200,000 tons of diesel loaded in Russian ports since the start of June do not yet have a confirmed destination.

We remind, Russia agreed to extend its existing 0.5 million bpd curbs into 2024, Angola and Nigeria agreed to give up their unused quotas. The United Arab Emirates was allowed to boost its production quota by 0.2 million bpd to 3.2 million from 2024.

Kuwait's KPC sees good oil demand from China in H2

Kuwait's KPC sees good oil demand from China in H2

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuwait Petroleum Corporation sees continued good demand for oil from China in the second half of the year, its chief executive said on Thursday, speaking to Reuters as part of a podcast series hosted by the Al Attiyah Foundation, said Reuters.

"We see that from (...) our customers in China, our largest customer for KPC for crude oil, those customers continue to demand at least similar amounts of crude if not more and it is a harbinger, if you will, of continued good demand," Sheikh Nawaf Saud al-Sabah said.

Sheikh Nawaf also said Kuwait's market share in China was stable despite increasing Russian exports into Asia on the back of Western sanctions on Moscow since its invasion of Ukraine. "We have had customers, our largest customers in China for decades, and they will continue to be that way because we have long term relationships with them," he said.

Kuwait, an OPEC producer, has been boosting oil products exports to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas after the Western sanctions on Russia reshuffled energy trade routes.

On Thursday, Sheikh Nawaf said the country had taken advantage of the increased demand in Europe for its fuel oil and middle distillates.

We remind, Russia agreed to extend its existing 0.5 million bpd curbs into 2024, Angola and Nigeria agreed to give up their unused quotas. The United Arab Emirates was allowed to boost its production quota by 0.2 million bpd to 3.2 million from 2024.

Iran's oil exports hit 5-year highs as U.S. holds nuclear talks

Iran's oil exports hit 5-year highs as U.S. holds nuclear talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran's crude exports and oil output have hit new highs in 2023 despite U.S. sanctions, according to consultants, shipping data and a source familiar with the matter, adding to global supply when other producers are limiting output, said Reuters.

Tehran's oil exports have been limited since former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 exited a 2015 nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions aimed at curbing oil exports and the associated revenue to Iran's government.

Even so, exports have risen during the term of his successor President Joe Biden. Iranian and Western officials have said the U.S. is holding talks with Iran to sketch out steps that could limit the nuclear program.

Iranian crude exports exceeded 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, the highest monthly rate since 2018, according to Kpler, a provider of flows data. They were around 2.5 million bpd in 2018, before the U.S withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Iran said in May it has boosted its crude output to above 3 million bpd. That's about 3% of global supply and would be the highest since 2018, according to figures from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). A source familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month output was still at this level. The International Energy Agency this week put Iran's May production at 2.87 million bpd, close to Iran's official figure.

The rise from Iran comes as OPEC+, which includes OPEC, Russia and other allies, is cutting output to support the oil market, where expectations that economic weakness will dent demand have pressured prices. Other analysts say Iran's production and exports have risen. SVB International, a consultant, estimates crude production hit 3.04 million bpd in May, up from 2.66 million bpd in January. Exports of crude and condensate were 1.93 million bpd in May.

"Sanctions are in place but perhaps they are not fully implemented or monitored," said Sara Vakhshouri of SVB, who has previously said during Biden's term there hasn't been any serious crackdown or action against Iran's oil exports.

"Also all of these supply volumes are in the dark market, where there is no transparency and so they are not reflected in formal global supply and export data." On the issue of whether the U.S. is strictly enforcing the sanctions, the U.S. State Department and Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China is Iran's biggest customer while volumes also head to Syria and Venezuela, according to analysts and shipping data.

We remind, OPEC+ agreed on June 4 a wide-ranging deal to limit oil supply into 2024. Iran is not required to make cuts as, together with Venezuela and Libya, it has an exemption. Nigeria is not exempt but has faced internal challenges in raising output.