China records a 21.5% drop in ABS imports for the year 2023

China records a 21.5% drop in ABS imports for the year 2023

MRC -- In 2023, China witnessed a notable downturn in its imports of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), registering a significant decline of 21.5% compared to the previous year, said Chemanalyst.

The total ABS imports for the year amounted to 1,078.094 thousand tonnes, a considerable drop from the 1,373.79 thousand tons recorded in 2022. This downturn reflects a substantial shift in the country's ABS import dynamics.

The primary sources of China's ABS imports in 2023 were predominantly Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan. These countries played a crucial role in supplying ABS to meet China's industrial and manufacturing demands. The diversification of sources indicates a strategic approach to securing ABS imports from various regions, contributing to the resilience of China's supply chain.

Examining the monthly trends, it was reported earlier that China experienced a 20% year-on-year decrease in ABS imports in October 2023, amounting to 93.91 thousand tons. In the same month of the previous year, ABS imports stood at 117.38 thousand tons. Despite the year-on-year decline, there was a marginal 1.4% increase in ABS imports from September to October. The cumulative ABS imports for the period from January to October 2023 reached 900.76 thousand tons.

The significant reduction in ABS imports in 2023 underscores various factors influencing the market dynamics. Economic conditions, global supply chain disruptions, and specific industry demands could have contributed to the observed decline. The choice of ABS suppliers from Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan suggests a strategic sourcing strategy to diversify suppliers and ensure a steady supply of ABS amid potential challenges in the global market.

China's ABS import figures are critical indicators of the country's manufacturing and industrial activities. ABS, a versatile thermoplastic polymer, finds extensive applications in various sectors, including automotive, electronics, construction, and consumer goods. The decline in ABS imports may reflect shifts in domestic demand, production dynamics, or a combination of both.

While the ABS import figures provide insights into the overall market trends, it is essential to consider the broader economic context and industry-specific factors. Economic fluctuations, trade policies, and technological advancements can influence the demand and supply of ABS in the global market. China's strategic sourcing from multiple countries suggests a proactive approach to managing potential risks and uncertainties associated with ABS supply.

The marginal increase in ABS imports from September to October 2023 indicates a nuanced aspect of the market. While the year-on-year comparison shows a reduction, the month-to-month variation suggests potential fluctuations in demand or supply chain dynamics. Analyzing these patterns provides stakeholders with valuable insights into short-term market trends and potential areas of focus for the industry.

We remind, ABS issued an approval in principle to Lemissoler Navigation for its design of a 65K DWT methanol-fueled Ultramax bulk carrier, the first such methanol vessel for China’s shipbuilding industry, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The Lem65ePlus-SDARI Methanol design, a joint development of Lemissoler and SDARI explores the feasibility of using methanol as fuel to reduce carbon emissions to reach the IMO’s net-zero target by 2050.

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GAIL And ADNOC gas ink a long-term lng contract fuelling India’s natural gas industry growth

GAIL And ADNOC gas ink a long-term lng contract fuelling India’s natural gas industry growth

MRC -- GAIL Limited, India's largest Natural Gas company, has successfully concluded a long-term LNG purchase agreement for purchase of around 0.5 MMTPA LNG from ADNOC Gas, said Polymerupdate.

This is pursuant to an MoU dated 30.10.2022 between GAIL and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) P.J.S.C wherein Parties agreed that, in potential areas of collaboration both parties shall explore opportunities including purchase of LNG by GAIL from ADNOC for a tenure ranging from short term to medium and long-term. This significant development between GAIL and ADNOC will reinforce the robust cultural and economic bonds between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under this agreement, the deliveries will commence from 2026 onwards for a duration of 10 years, across India. This arrangement is believed to further aid in India’s rising energy security requirements and, simultaneously, also fuel GAIL’s strategic growth objectives to cater to its downstream customers in the rapidly evolving Natural Gas landscape of the country.

Shri. Sandeep Kumar Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India) Limited said on this long-term LNG deal that this long-term LNG deal with ADNOC by GAIL will contribute to bridging gap in India’s demand and supply of natural gas and will open more avenues of strategic partnership between GAIL and ADNOC in other areas of energy domain.

Underlining the broader impact of the agreement, Shri Sanjay Kumar, Director (Marketing), GAIL stated that this long-term LNG transaction by GAIL will help India in moving towards Government of India’s objective of enhancing share of natural gas in India’s energy basket to 15%. Further, this deal will also help GAIL to augment its significantly large LNG portfolio to serve its diverse consumer profile.

We remind, GAIL India is looking to allot Rup 30,000 crore of investment in the succeeding three years for pipelines, city gas distribution projects, existing petrochemical projects, equity contribution in group firms, and operational capex. It also anticipates polymer sales to rise twofold and natural gas transmission volume to increase by 12% in FY 2024. (1 crore=10 M, 1 lakh=100,000).

GAIL, headquartered in New Delhi, is India’s largest natural gas company, with a diversified interest across natural gas value chain of trading, transmission, LPG production & transmission, LNG re-gasification, petrochemicals, city gas, E&P etc. It owns and operates a network of over 16,000 km of natural gas pipelines spread across the country along with concurrently working on enhancing the spread further. GAIL commands around 70% market share in gas transmission and has a gas trading share of over 50% in India.

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Clariant Partners with Safic-Alcan to Increase Its Presence in UK and Ireland

Clariant Partners with Safic-Alcan to Increase Its Presence in UK and Ireland

MRC -- Clariant is a focused specialty chemical company driving value creation with its innovative and sustainable solutions across diverse industries, said Specialchem.

With this partnership, Safic Alcan will offer Clariant’s range of functional ingredients including emollients, emulsifiers, rheology modifiers, pearlizers, preservatives, and mild surfactants, complementing its existing range and providing more valuable synergies for customers.

With a history of successful collaboration in different industries, the ongoing partnership between Safic-Alcan and Clariant highlights the shared benefits derived from this alliance.

“We are excited to partner with Safic Alcan to increase our presence in UK and Ireland in the cosmetic segment. Safic Alcan and Clariant share a common commitment to deliver sustainable and innovative solutions to customers. Safic Alcan’s team has excellent technical expertise and formulation creativity, combined with deep customer knowledge. We look forward to developing this synergy further through this new partnership,” said Kelly Shenton, senior regional account manager for Clariant.

‘‘Following a successful start with the Clariant homecare portfolio in the UK and Ireland, we are delighted to bring their personal care products to our customers. This partnership strengthens Safic-Alcan UK’s portfolio, enabling our customers to create innovative and sustainable formulations,’’ concluded Barry McDonnell, managing director for Safic-Alcan UK.

We remind, Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, announced its decision to shut down its sunliquid® bioethanol production in Podari, Romania, and to downsize related activities of the business line Biofuels & Derivatives in Germany (Straubing, Planegg and Munich). After developing the sunliquid® technology, Clariant had taken the decision in 2017 to establish its own commercial sunliquid® plant in Podari, which began producing bioethanol in the second quarter of 2022. In July 2023, Clariant started a strategic evaluation of the options for the plant after it became clear that the plant did not achieve Clariant’s targeted operational parameters.

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HPCL net profit jumps over 3 times to Rup 529 crore

HPCL net profit jumps over 3 times to Rup 529 crore
MRC -- HPCL, the state-owned oil marketing company (OMC), said on Thursday its standalone net profit increased more than three times to Rs 529 crore in the third quarter of Financial Year 2023-24 (Q3 FY24), up from Rs 172.4 crore in the same period in FY23, said Business-standard.

On a sequential basis, net profit fell 89 per cent from Rs. 5,118.1 crore registered in Q2 FY24. The sharp deterioration was due to suppressed marketing margins at select transport fuels and lower refining margins attributable to lower cracks. A crack, or crack spread, is a term used in the energy markets to represent the differences between a barrel of crude oil and the prices of wholesale petroleum products.

HPCL blamed the decline in Q2 FY24 to falling crude prices as well. Brent crude prices hit a high of Rs 94.3 per barrel on September 27, but expectations of lower industrial demand in China and inflationary fears in Europe have driven down demand. Prices stood at Rs 79.93 Thursday evening.

HPCL's income from sale of products increased 1.9 per cent to Rs 1.17 trillion in Q3 FY24 compared to the year-ago quarter. The small improvement was attributed to lower average gross refining margins (GRM) in the latest quarter. GRM is the amount that refiners earn from turning every barrel of crude oil into refined fuel products. HPCL said GRMs fell to $8.49 per barrel in Q3 FY24, down from $9.14 per barrel in Q1 FY23.

We remind, Chevron Lummus Global LLC announced the award of a new licensing contract by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited for the development of a grassroots integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit and a full catalyst reload of their existing lube oil upgrading program at the Mumbai Refinery in India.

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Borouge 4 construction surpasses 50% completion milestone

Borouge 4 construction surpasses 50% completion milestone

MRC -- Borouge, a leading petrochemical company that provides innovative and differentiated polyolefin solutions, today announced that the Borouge 4 project, one of the largest industrial projects underway in the UAE, is over 50% complete, said Hydrjcarbonprocessing.

During a recent visit to the site by H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, ADNOC Managing Director and Group CEO, and Chairman of Borouge, he witnessed the strong construction progress including the installation of the world’s largest, first-ever UAE built Borstar® gas phase reactor.

The project, being built by Borouge on behalf of the project’s owners, ADNOC and Borealis, will boost Borouge’s production capacity by nearly a third. It will also enhance the company’s production facilities at Al Ruwais Industrial City, making it the world’s largest single-site polyolefin complex.

By increasing Borouge’s production capacity by 1.4 million tons a year to a total of 6.4 million tons, the plant will enable Borouge to rapidly increase global sales of its innovative and differentiated polyolefins solutions. The company supplies vital materials for critical sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, and its solutions are increasingly deployed in major renewable energy projects.

The project continues to progress as scheduled and remains on track to be completed by the end of 2025. Upon completion, the project will be transferred to Borouge from its majority shareholders, ADNOC and Borealis.

Hazeem Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chief Executive Officer of Borouge Plc, commented: “This project is of significant importance to both Borouge and the development of the UAE’s industrial sector. The project, which is over halfway completed, will not only boost our production capacity, and mark our facilities at Al Ruwais Industrial City in Al Dhannah as the largest single-site polyolefin complex but also enhance our ability to deliver product innovation and value to customers across the high-growth markets we serve. As one of the UAE’s largest industrial projects, it is already delivering significant economic impact, with considerable orders placed with UAE manufacturers and a strong target ICV score. As Borouge plays its part in driving ‘Make it in the Emirates’, the project has emerged as a pivotal catalyst for the UAE’s industrial growth, while also supporting the nation’s initiatives towards decarbonization and energy efficiency.”

Sultan Zaid Al Shehhi, Borouge 4 Project Director, added: “A project of this scale speaks to the strength of the UAE’s industrial sector and Borouge’s ability to collaborate with partners across the value chain. We have worked closely with manufacturers and suppliers, both large and small, from across the UAE, to boost ICV and fast-track the delivery of this strategic growth project. The project, which will require over 100 million manhours to deliver, remains on track to be completed by the end of 2025 – a testament to Borouge’s excellence in execution capabilities. Moreover, with over 20,000 people on site at peak time, we have maintained our resolute focus on health and safety without compromising on quality of execution and speed of delivery thanks to the collective efforts of the Borouge project team and its contractors.”

Spanning an area of over 3.4 million square meters – equivalent to 500 football pitches – with over 7,500 kilometers of cables to be laid, 340,000 cubic meters of concrete and 77,500 tons of structural steel to be used, the project has made strong progress since its groundbreaking in early 2022. The electrical cables powering the plant, and the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) piping used are directly sourced and manufactured from Borouge’s polyethylene material, which is entirely produced in the UAE.

As one of the world’s biggest ongoing industrial construction projects, Borouge 4 is stimulating the UAE’s manufacturing sector. It serves as a significant contributor to the UAE’s In-Country Value (ICV) program, targeting an ICV score of 63%. The project has already delivered substantial economic benefits by awarding purchase orders totaling over $600 million to companies within the country.

The plant is driving job creation with over 20,000 people on site and over 100 million manhours projected to be undertaken to complete construction work. UAE national professionals, who make up 46% of Borouge project’s employees, are playing a crucial role in delivering this multi-billion-dollar strategic growth project.

In the past week, the project achieved a significant milestone by completing the on-site installation of the world’s largest Borealis Borstar® gas phase reactor. Weighing over 500 tons each, these represent the first-ever UAE-built reactors of their kind, underscoring the country’s industrial development and capabilities, showcasing the superior technology being used throughout the project, and contributing to the ICV that the project has been able to deliver.

We remind, Borouge Plc launched five new grades to meet the growing demand in the infrastructure and advanced packaging industries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The launch supports Borouge’s growth and innovation strategy by increasing its market share in the piping market in the company’s core territories, valued at nearly USD1 billion. Catering to the needs of consumers, Borouge unveiled its first-ever Bulk Continuous Filament (BCF) product, designed for fiber and carpet applications, to target a market worth USD100 million in the Middle East and North Africa region and providing strong opportunity for Borouge to grow its market share.

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