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COVID-19 - News digest as of 22.05.2020

May 22/2020

1. Refiners pin hopes on gasoline for post-lockdown demand recovery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Global oil refiners, battling weak profit margins, are pinning their hopes on a recovery in gasoline demand as coronavirus lockdowns start to ease in many countries around the world, reported Reuters. Gasoline was one of fuels the hardest hit by the lockdowns as restrictions on mobility cut demand for the motor fuel by more than 50% in several regions. Even a slight uptick in gasoline demand will provide support to overall margins, a source at a trading firm said.

2. Idemitsu sees Japanese oil products demand down 20% April-June

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan expects Japans demand for oil products to fall by about 20% in the April-June quarter from a year earlier as measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic reduce jet fuel and gasoline use, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to its chairman's statement. Overall demand for oil products in Japan is now seen dropping about 20% in April-June, bigger than our earlier estimate of about a 14% decline, with jet fuel demand plunging more than 50%, Takashi Tsukioka, chairman of Idemitsu, told a news conference.

3. Oil at highest since March on lower US inventories

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices rose to their highest since March, supported by lower U.S. crude inventories, OPEC-led supply cuts and recovering demand as governments ease restrictions on peoples movements imposed due to the coronavirus crisis, reported Reuters. Crude prices have slumped in 2020, with global benchmark Brent hitting a 21-year low below USD16 a barrel in April as demand collapsed. With fuel use rising and more signs that the supply glut is being tackled, Brent has since more than doubled.

4. LyondellBasell donates USD1.3 mln to combat hunger during COVID-19 pandemic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, has recently announced a USD1.3 million donation to support the COVID-19 response efforts of the Global FoodBanking Network and United States local food banks, according to the company's press release. "Even in the best of times, hunger and food insecurity is a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this need even more severe as food banks around the world have experienced an increase in demand and a decline in food donations," said LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel. "In addition to the work our team is doing to supply materials that are used in medical applications, we wanted to help those who are finding it difficult to put food on the table by supporting these vitally important organizations."

5. Qatar Petroleum plans job and cost cuts amid market downturn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Qatar Petroleum, one of the worlds biggest energy companies, plans a new wave of job cuts and spending reductions to cope with the slump in oil and gas demand which has hit global economies, reported Reuters with reference to two sources familiar with the matter. Economic lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic look set to cut global energy demand sharply with business activity stalling across much of the globe as the containment measures hammer the world economy, cementing economists views of a deep global recession.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, Idemitsu, LyondellBasell, QP, COVID-19, Qatar, USA, Japan.
Category:General News
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