China Set to Lead acrylonitrile butadiene styrene capacity Expansions in Asia by 2027

China Set to Lead acrylonitrile butadiene styrene capacity Expansions in Asia by 2027

MRC -- China is on the brink of asserting its dominance in the realm of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) capacity expansions throughout Asia, said Chemanalyst.

Projections are confidently pointing towards China accounting for an overwhelming 96% of the capacity additions in Asia by 2027.

The ABS industry holds a position of paramount importance due to its role as a versatile polymer widely sought after in a myriad of end-user industries, including automotive, construction, packaging, consumer goods, and electronics. The resilient and ever-growing demand for ABS within China, primarily fueled by the nation's flourishing economy, has securely positioned China as both the largest producer and consumer of ABS on a global scale.

China's ABS capacity additions are nothing short of remarkable. The nation is slated to introduce a staggering 4.43 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of ABS capacity through ten meticulously planned and announced projects. The magnitude of these capacity additions unequivocally underscores China's commanding position in the ABS industry landscape.

A standout contributor to this colossal capacity expansion endeavor is the Zhejiang Petrochemical Daishan ABS Plant 2, a project that has been announced and is set to exhibit a remarkable capacity of 1.20 mtpa. This plant is poised to embark on ABS production in the year 2027, marking a momentous milestone in the annals of China's ABS industry.

Furthermore, among the contributing projects, two others are poised to play pivotal roles in amplifying China's ABS capacity. The INEOS Styrolution Ningbo ABS Plant and the Shandong Yulong Petrochemical Longkou ABS Plant, both projects that have been strategically planned, are individually scheduled to augment China's ABS capacity by 0.60 mtpa. The INEOS Styrolution project was commenced its operations in 2023, while the Longkou ABS Plant is expected to spring into action in 2024.

hina's ABS capacity expansion initiative also graciously welcomes the Guangxi Changke New Material Company Fangchenggan ABS Plant, an announced project. This particular facility is primed to make a substantial contribution to China's ABS capacity by adding 0.50 mtpa and is on track to commence ABS production by 2025.

The significance of these capacity additions reverberates through China's commitment to industrial growth and its ongoing contribution to the versatile and indispensable ABS polymer industry. This polymer is widely used across various vital sectors of the economy, including automotive, construction, packaging, consumer goods, and electronics, underscores China's dedication to both its economic prosperity and its role as a leading player in the global industrial landscape.

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Grupa Azoty ends talks with Orlen over fertilizer plant acquisition in Poland

Grupa Azoty ends talks with Orlen over fertilizer plant acquisition in Poland

MRC -- Grupa Azoty S.A. to commence discussions with Orlen S.A. to cease actions related to potential acquisition of Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy S.A. by Orlen S.A., said the company.

The resolution to initiate discussions with Orlen S.A. to cease actions related to the potential acquisition of Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy S.A. was passed today and came into force upon adoption. The resolution followed a comprehensive analysis conducted by a reputable consultancy, which formed the basis for the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A. to deem the potential sale of Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy S.A. as unjustified.

The decision was influenced by various factors, including the value-building concept developed by an independent consultant and the recommendation of the Project Steering Committee.

Grupa Azoty S.A. will continue its collaboration with consulting firms to further develop recommendations and prioritise actions aimed at enhancing the long-term shareholder value of the Company’s group.

‘Analyses conducted by an external consulting firm, considering current market conditions and the clear strategic recommendations derived from them, offer no basis for the continuation of discussions regarding the potential acquisition of Grupa Azoty Pulawy by Orlen S.A. We are undertaking broader analyses to develop additional measures aimed at restoring the group’s market value. Concurrently, we are implementing further optimisation initiatives across our businesses and engaging in ongoing discussions with financing institutions. We are constantly monitoring the market and adjusting production to current demand, which has been gradually increasing in recent months,’ said Marek Wadowski, Vice President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A.

We remind, Orlen is set to continue its recent expansion in Norway after one of its subsidiaries, PGNiG Upstream Norway, agreed a $445 million (1.8 billion zloty) deal to purchase a 100% stake in KUFPEC Norway from the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

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Singapore's middle distillates dip slightly amid surging exports

Singapore's middle distillates dip slightly amid surging exports

MRC -- Singapore's middle distillates inventories fell marginally week-on-week as net exports of both gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene grew, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene inventories at the key oil storage hub were at 10.422 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 22 from 10.423 MMbbl a week earlier, data from Enterprise Singapore showed. Net exports of gasoil posted a week-on-week gain for the first time in two months.

Total gasoil exports rose by more than two times week-on-week. Most of these exports were directed towards other South-East Asian countries, including Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia. On the other hand, total gasoil imports fell 16.8% week-on-week.

Singapore was also a net exporter of jet fuel/kerosene and net exports posted week-on-week gains after two consecutive weeks of declines. Both imports and exports grew by a substantial amount. Total jet fuel/kerosene imports grew by more than 300 times week-on-week, primarily driven by imports from Malaysia.

Total jet fuel/kerosene exports expanded over sevenfold week-on-week, with the top destination being Australia.

We remind, China's oil demand growth is likely to ease in the first half of 2024 to around 4%, according to consultancies, with resurgent consumption from the aviation and petrochemical sectors offset by weaker diesel usage due to an ongoing property sector crunch. Slowing demand growth for the world's biggest oil importer comes amid what remains an uncertain outlook for the Chinese economy and as travel patterns normalise following the post-COVID rebound earlier in the year.

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Scotland's Grangemouth refinery faces closure

Scotland's Grangemouth refinery faces closure

MRC -- PetroIneos is preparing to shut down its Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland to convert it into a fuels import terminal as it faces growing international competition, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The 150,000'bpd refinery, Scotland's only oil refinery and one of six in Britain, is expected to continue operating until spring 2025, PetroIneos said in a statement. Although it is a major supplier of fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel to Scotland, the plant has faced significant challenges due to growing global competition, particularly from newly-built refineries in Asia and the Middle East.

PetroIneos will soon start preparatory work to enable the future transformation of its Grangemouth refinery into a fuels import terminal, it said in a statement. The timescale for the shutdown is yet to be determined exactly but the preparatory work is expected to take around 18 months, with the refinery expected to continue operating until spring 2025.

"As the energy transition gathers pace, this is a necessary step in adapting our business to reflect the decline in demand for the type of fuels we produce," Franck Demay, CEO at PetroIneos Refining, said. The plan includes converting the site of the refinery into a fuels import hub.

onverting refineries into storage terminals is often far cheaper than a full shutdown as the operator is not required to fully restore the land to its former state. The company will also seek to convert its existing export terminal at Finnart, which is linked to Grangemouth by cross-country pipelines, into a diesel import facility.

PetroIneos said it is also evaluating a range of low-carbon opportunities for Grangemouth, including the feasibility of a bio-refinery facility on the site. PetroIneos is a 50-50 joint venture between petrochemicals giant Ineos and PetroChina. It also owns the Lavera refinery in southern France.

We remind, China's oil demand growth is likely to ease in the first half of 2024 to around 4%, according to consultancies, with resurgent consumption from the aviation and petrochemical sectors offset by weaker diesel usage due to an ongoing property sector crunch. Slowing demand growth for the world's biggest oil importer comes amid what remains an uncertain outlook for the Chinese economy and as travel patterns normalise following the post-COVID rebound earlier in the year.

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China oil demand growth poised to slow to around 4% in H1 2024

China oil demand growth poised to slow to around 4% in H1 2024

MRC -- China's oil demand growth is likely to ease in the first half of 2024 to around 4%, according to consultancies, with resurgent consumption from the aviation and petrochemical sectors offset by weaker diesel usage due to an ongoing property sector crunch, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Slowing demand growth for the world's biggest oil importer comes amid what remains an uncertain outlook for the Chinese economy and as travel patterns normalise following the post-COVID rebound earlier in the year.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries foresees Chinese demand averaging 16.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2024, up 3.2% on 2023 levels, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts demand averaging 17.1 million bpd for the full year, to show 3.9% growth.

Even though China's economy has made a faltering recovery this year, oil consumption was still on course to set record highs, having been subdued between 2020-2022 by strict COVID curbs. OPEC and the IEA expect China's oil demand to show growth in 2023 of 7.6% and 12.1%, respectively.

OPEC has dismissed fears of that demand growth for oil in China is fading, describing negative sentiment as "overblown" in a recent report. OPEC's forecasts show China accounting for 24.6% of global oil demand growth in the first half of 2024, according to Reuters calculations.

The OPEC+ group, which includes allies such as Russia, on Wednesday unexpectedly delayed an upcoming ministerial meeting expected to discuss output cuts as producers struggled to agree on production levels, sources said. Consultancies Wood Mackenzie, Rystad Energy and Energy Aspects respectively forecast China's first-half 2024 oil demand to grow by 3.7%, 4.0% and 4.4% versus the same period in 2023.

Their growth forecasts for the first six months range from about 578,000 bpd to 700,000 bpd to total between 16.2 million and 16.82 million bpd. China does not provide official data on oil consumption or inventory levels, and the private growth forecasts use different bases of comparison.

The forecasts put expected growth next year marginally below pre-pandemic rates, when China's oil demand grew at an average of 4.5% between 2016 and 2019, according to Reuters calculations using IEA data for full year growth.

We remind, the European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of a new law aimed at reducing packaging waste and boosting recycling across the EU. The legislation was overseen by Belgian MEP Frederique Ries (MR/Renew) and passed with 426 votes in favour, 125 against, and 74 abstentions.

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