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COVID-19 - News digest as of 29.05.2020

May 29/2020

1. Oil prices fall as focus turns to OPEC+ consensus

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude futures fell Wednesday as the focus turned to a lack of consensus among OPEC+ members ahead of the group's next meeting on June 8-10, reported S&P Global. NYMEX July crude settled at USD32.81/b, down USD1.54, while ICE July Brent settled at USD34.74/b, down USD1.43. "Oil's rally stalled out after Russia signaled they want to unwind productions in July, a sign that the battle for market share will resume as crude demand improves," said OANDA analyst Edward Moya. "Russia's comments on easing cuts in July served as a reminder that higher prices and improved crude demand will likely see OPEC+ compliance go out the window." While news that Russia's oil ministry said global oil markets would balance in June or July pulled prices lower, subsequent news Wednesday that Russia's President Vladimir Putin agreed with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the need for "close coordination" put a floor in futures."Both sides noted the importance of joint efforts in achieving OPEC+ agreements in April to limit oil production," said a statement from the Kremlin. "They agreed that further close coordination on this issue should take place between energy ministers." The OPEC+ alliance agreed in April to reduce output by 9.7 million b/d in May and June in response to plummeting demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia has since said it will cut a further 1 million b/d in June.

2. Japanese May gasoline demand at 37-year-low, slow demand recovery in sight

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's estimated gasoline demand in May fell to the lowest monthly level in 37 years as consumers refrained from traveling at the beginning of the month, a period when driving activity typically peaks due to public holidays, reported S&P Global. Local refiners and traders remained cautious on the gasoline demand recovery prospect in June as people may not actively go out amid concerns over the coronavirus infection despite the recent lifting of the state of emergency. "We expect the coronavirus pandemic to have an impact [on the gasoline demand] for around a year and the demand is likely to continue making large drops from a year ago," a trader said Thursday. "With the summer demand season approaching, we expect to see a gradual demand recovery."

3. Turnaround at German Heide refinery postponed until late summer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German refiner Klesch will postpone scheduled turnaround work at its refinery near Hamburg until late summer because of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reported Chemweek with reference to a spokesperson for the refinery's statement to OPIS. The 90,000-b/d refinery, known as Raffinerie Heide, was due to undergo planned maintenance in June. УThe maintenance will now take place in late summer 2020,Ф the spokesperson says.

4. ELIX Polymers joins the fight against COVID-19 with biocompatible ABS grades for medical devices

MOSCOW (MRC) - Leading ABS producer ELIX Polymers is collaborating with a large group of companies within ClusterMAV, the Advanced Materials Cluster of Catalonia, Spain, in the fight against COVID-19, said the company. The partners are working in collaboration with the National Federation of Innovative Business Groups and Clusters (FENAEIC), which focuses on promoting collaboration between federations, clusters and their partners, within the European Cluster collaboration platform.

5. Irving Oil to buy Come-by-Chance refinery owner

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada-based oil refinery operator Irving Oil said it had agreed to buy North Atlantic Refining Corp, the owner of the Come-by-Chance refinery in Newfoundland, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Come-by-Chance refinery, which has an output of 135,000 barrels per day, was the first to close in North America as refiners worldwide began to scale back to adjust to a sudden demand slump due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PS, ABS, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, ELIX Polymers, COVID-19, Germany, Canada, Rossiya, USA.
Category:General News
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