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COVID-19 - News digest as of 14.05.2020

May 14/2020

1. SOCAR to supervise OPEC+ oil production cut

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On 9 April 2020, 23 member countries of OPEC+ discussed the economic recession caused by Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to cut oil production by 9.7 million bpd from 1 May 2020, in order to balance supply and demand on the global market, according to WorldPipelines. The Republic of Azerbaijan, as a member of OPEC+, participated in the meeting and, along with other countries, committed voluntarily to production cuts in relevant proportions.

2. Dow Chemical to shut PE plants amid lackluster demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- USA based Dow Chemical is planning to shut three polyethylene (PE) plants in the USA and Argentina to avoid piling inventories amid sluggish global demand conditions due to the COVID-19 related lockdown, reported Commoplast with reference to market sources. According to the company, in the first quarter of the year, demand from the packaging and specialty plastics sector were stable to slightly improved, however, sales in the industrial intermediates and infrastructure remained weak.

3. Oil falls on fears of second coronavirus wave

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices fell as investors worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections, but new output cuts from Saudi Arabia tempered worries about oversupply and limited price losses, reported Reuters. Brent crude futures fell USD1.04, or 3.4%, to USD29.93 a barrel by 12:58 p.m. EDT (1658 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 30 cents, or 1.2%, to USD24.44 a barrel on 11 May.

4. China issues second batch fuel export quotas for 2020, all to state firms

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China has issued 28 million tons of refined fuel export quotas in the second allotment for this year, little changed from the first batch of 27.99 million tons issued last December, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing. The quotas were released last week to five state oil companies, PetroChina, Sinopec, China National Offshore Oil Corp, Sinochem Group and China National Aviation Fuel Corp, the sources said. The new quotas, of mostly gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel, come as domestic fuel consumption is recovering from a plunge in demand caused by the novel coronavirus, while the Asian market is awash with unwanted transportation fuels.

5. Asian refining margins gain, but risks loom

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A recent strengthening in refinery margins in Asia is leading to a sense that the worst may be over for the embattled sector as more nations in the region start to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. But the main risk now for both the crude oil and refined products industries is that the renewed optimism leads them to boost output to levels above the nascent recovery in demand. The profit margins, or cracks, for producing both gasoline and gasoil, the building block of diesel and jet kerosene, have bounced off record lows in recent sessions, as traders report tentative signs of a recovery in demand and more interest in securing cargoes.

6. MEGlobal donates PPE to local hospital

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Recognizing the importance of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19, MEGlobal Fort Saskatchewan donated 40 sets of mono goggles to the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation this week, said the company. Andrew Maile, MEGlobal North America Responsible Care Leader, said MEGlobal evaluated its current inventory and determined that after ensuring an adequate supply for employees, the remaining 40 sets of eye protection could be given to the hospital.

7. LyondellBasell cuts rates across system on lower demand amid coronavirus

MOSCOW (MRC0 -- Global petrochemical producer LyondellBasell has reduced rates across its system to accommodate lower demand wrought by shutdowns around the globe to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, reported S&P Global with reference to CEO Bob Patel's statement. LyondellBasell's overall global petrochemical and refining assets were expected to operate at 60% to 80% of nameplate capacity through the second quarter, Patel said during the company's first-quarter earnings call. European crackers were seen running at 80% to 85%, while US crackers were expected to run at about 75%, he said.

8. ExxonMobil boosts production of PP for medical masks, gowns and hand sanitiser

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said it has increased production of critical raw materials for masks, gowns and hand sanitiser used by medical professionals and first responders leading the efforts to combat the global Covid-19 pandemic, according to Refining&Petrochemicals. The company has increased its capability to manufacture specialised polypropylene (PP), used in medical masks and gowns, by about 1,000 tonnes per month, which is enough to enable production of up to 200 million medical masks, or 20 million gowns.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, adhesives, Dow, Exxon Mobil, LyondellBasell, MEGlobal, SOCAR Polymer, COVID-19, Azerbaijan, China, USA.
Category:General News
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