ExxonMobil announces second-quarter 2023 results

ExxonMobil announces second-quarter 2023 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil’s profits tumbled as the company said oil prices were returning to “normal”, said the company.

The US’s biggest oil company posted net income of USD7.9bn for the second quarter, less than half of the unprecedented haul of USD17.9bn it reported during the same period in 2022. Excluding last year, the profit figure, which came in broadly in line with Wall Street estimates, was the company’s strongest for this time of year in more than a decade.

“We expected prices to moderate after record earnings,” Kathy Mikells, Exxon’s chief financial officer, told the Financial Times. “If you look at the overall price environment, across most of our businesses, we’re back within what we would call the 10-year normal range.”

The fall in Exxon’s earnings mirrors drops reported by rival oil majors as commodity prices recede after surging in the wake of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February. Smaller US rival Chevron reported earnings of $6bn for the period, down by about half compared with a year ago.

Italy’s Eni reported adjusted net profits of €1.94bn on Friday, down 49 per cent from the second quarter of 2022 but still ahead of average analysts’ estimates of €1.6bn.

Shell and TotalEnergies reported similar falls this week with second-quarter earnings down 56 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively. Analysts expect BP to follow a similar course when it reports next week.

We remind, ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and Axens have signed an exclusive licensing alliance agreement allowing Axens to include ExxonMobil’s MTBE Decomposition Technology for high purity isobutylene in its portfolio. Used in the production of high-reactivity polyisobutylene and butyl rubber, this technology enables Axens’ customers to better address the growing demand for petrochemical intermediates over the next decade.


S.Korea’s SKC seeks to sell fine ceramic business for USD307 mn

S.Korea’s SKC seeks to sell fine ceramic business for USD307 mn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SKC Ltd., a South Korean chemicals maker, is seeking to sell its fine ceramic business for an estimated 400 billion won (USD307 million) as the unit of the country’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group is restructuring its business to focus on new growth sectors such as materials for semiconductors and electric vehicle batteries, said Kedglobal.

SKC has selected Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, the South Korean member firm of global accounting industry leader PwC, as its financial advisor to sell the fine ceramic division, a core business of its wholly owned subsidiary SK Enpulse Co., formerly SKC Solmics, according to investment banking industry sources on Monday.

SK Enpulse manufactures materials and parts including fine ceramics, chemical mechanical polishing pads, blank masks and other products for the entire semiconductor production process. Its fine ceramics division, which generates about 70% of the company’s total sales, makes consumable materials for semiconductor etching such as high-quality silicon, quartz and aluminum oxide.

SKC was known to have decided on the sale as the division does not fit its new business focus. The parent company has said SK Enpulse aims to concentrate on the high-value semiconductor materials business to achieve an enterprise value of 1.5 trillion won by 2025. SKC incorporated ISC Co. in SK Enpulse after acquiring a 45% stake in the South Korean semiconductor test equipment maker.

SKC was also in talks with Seoul-based Glenwood Private Equity to sell SK Pucore, a subsidiary that makes eco-friendly polyurethane materials, at some 500 billion won. SKC is likely to raise nearly $700 million if it succeeds in both sales.

We remind, SKC Ltd., a South Korean chemical materials company, said on Friday it has acquired a 45% stake in semiconductor test equipment maker ISC Co., for 522.5 billion won (USD400 million).


Eastman announces second-quarter 2023 financial results

Eastman announces second-quarter 2023 financial results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman Chemical Company reported second-quarter net earnings of USD272 million, 5.8% higher year over year. However, adjusted earnings totaled USD1.99 per share, down 29.7% from the year-ago quarter but slightly ahead of the analysts’ consensus estimate of USD1.95 per share, said the company.

Sales declined 16.5% year over year, to USD2.3 billion, on weak primary demand and customer destocking across consumer durables, building and construction, agriculture, and medical.

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, Eastman chairman and CEO Mark Costa said expectations for demand improvement are “substantially lower” than in April. “[W]e expect only modest volume growth instead of the higher growth we anticipated in April,” he said. “We still see solid growth in the auto and aviation markets. We also expect demand in some of our stable markets, such as personal care, medical and water treatment, to be similar to current levels, as destocking seems to have mostly completed. However, we expect less growth in some of our other markets. In the consumer discretionary markets, such as durables and building and construction, we see destocking lasting longer than expected but to a lesser degree in the second half than the first."

Costa added that while many customers were anticipating “some normal seasonal improvement in the middle of the year and some recovery in China,” these assumptions failed to materialize in the second quarter. For this reason, many customers are reducing their demand expectations to be similar to first half for the rest of the year, and are taking additional inventory reduction actions.

For the full year, Eastman expects adjusted earnings of USD6.50-USD7.00 per share.

We remind, Eastman Chemical Company announced its first-quarter 2023 financial results, said the company.
Chemical Intermediates sales revenue decreased 18% primarily due to 12% lower sales volume/mix and 5% lower selling prices. Sales volume/mix was lower in plasticizers and olefins due to continued weak end-market demand, including for building and construction, consumer durables, and industrial. Selling prices were lower due to lower raw material prices. EBIT decreased due to lower sales volume/mix and lower spreads, which were above mid-cycle levels in the year-ago period.


Hyosung Vietnam wants to invest 1 billion USD for a carbon fiber factory in Ba Ria-Vung Tau

Hyosung Vietnam wants to invest 1 billion USD for a carbon fiber factory in Ba Ria-Vung Tau

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hyosung Vietnam wants to invest in a carbon fiber factory project in Phu My 2 Industrial Park, Phu My Town with a total capital of nearly 1 billion USD. Investment capital in the first stage is about 160 million dollars, said Vietnam.postsen.

On the afternoon of July 21, Mr. Nguyen Van Tho, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee received and worked with the delegation of Hyosung Vietnam Co., Ltd and Hyosung Vina Chemical Co., Ltd. to exchange some contents related to the implementation of projects in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

According to the representative of Hyosung Vietnam Co., Ltd., it is expected that Hyosung Vietnam will invest in a carbon fiber factory project in Phu My 2 Industrial Park, Phu My Town with a total capital of nearly 1 million USD. billion USD. Investment capital in the first stage is about 160 million dollars.

At the meeting, the representative of Hyosung Vietnam Co., Ltd. asked the province to guide the implementation of documents and procedures to apply for a project investment policy, and asked a number of questions related to the project implementation process.

Mr. Nguyen Van Tho welcomed Hyosung Group as well as its businesses for their interest in choosing Ba Ria-Vung Tau province as an investment destination. Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee highly appreciated Hyosung Vietnam Chemical Co., Ltd. in the process of implementing the project of Polypropylene (PP) Factory and Hyosung LPG underground storage in Cai Mep Industrial Park for its efforts to ensure the project goes into operation on schedule as committed.

The Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee said that Ba Ria-Vung Tau will support businesses to soon implement the carbon fiber factory project, and at the same time assign relevant units to coordinate to guide enterprises to complete the application in the correct order and procedures.

We remind, Hyosung TNC Corp., a South Korean textile and yarn manufacturer, is teaming up with Samsung Electronics Co. to produce eco-friendly protective clothing made from recycled PET bottles. The bottles, collected from nearby cities like Hwaseong and Suwon, including Samsung Electronics semiconductor plants, will be transformed into Regen, a recycled fiber developed by Hyosung TNC. About 10 million bottles will be recycled for the production of eco-friendly protective clothing.


Saudi Arabia expected to extend voluntary oil cut for September

Saudi Arabia expected to extend voluntary oil cut for September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia is expected to extend a voluntary oil output cut of 1 million barrels per day for another month to include September, five analysts said, to provide additional support for the oil market, said Reuters.

In June, OPEC+ agreed on a broad deal to limit oil supply into 2024 and Saudi Arabia pledged an additional voluntary cut for July. On July 3, Saudi Arabia said it would extend the cut for another month to include August, adding that it could be extended further.

Oil prices have found some support from evidence of tightening supplies and economic stimulus in China. Brent crude was trading at over USD84 a barrel on Friday, after hitting the highest level since April on Thursday.

"Given the tentative recovery, my guess is they continue the cut for one more month and then phase it out over three months - similar to what Saudi did in 2021," said Gary Ross, founder of Black Gold Investors and a veteran OPEC watcher.

The Saudi Energy Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. In the latest comments from an OPEC member on the market, the energy minister for the United Arab Emirates told Reuters on July 21 that current OPEC+ actions are sufficient for now and the group is "only a phone call away" if any further steps are needed.

OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, pumps around 40% of the world's crude. The group has been limiting supply since late 2022 to support the market.

Another analyst, Giovanni Staunovo of UBS, also drew a parallel with Saudi actions to bolster the market two years ago. "Looking at what they did in 2021, the full 1 million bpd cut was in place for three months, before scaling it down. So based on that they might extend it for another month," he said on July 25.

"But there are many moving parts at present, which might still impact the decision over the coming days." The Saudi voluntary cut announcement for July came as a surprise at the June OPEC+ meeting, where Riyadh shared little or no detail on the measure with other delegations prior to the meeting, OPEC+ sources said.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in July that OPEC+ would "continue the effort at surprising markets" and do "whatever is necessary."

Three other analysts - Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, Warren Patterson of ING and Macquarie analyst Vikas Dwivedi also said they thought the cut would probably be extended for September.

We remind, Aramco, TotalEnergies, and SABIC have converted oil derived from plastic waste into ISCC+ certified circular polymers in the hopes of creating a domestic value chain for the advanced recycling of plastics into circular polymers in Saudi Arabia.