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COVID-19 - News digest as of 30.07.2020

July 30/2020

1. Axalta posts Q2 sales decline

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axalta Coating Systems Q2 sales fell 43.6% year on year as demand declined because of impact of the coronavirus, said the company. The company swung to a Q2 net loss, driven primarily by volume decline impacts. Sequentially, sales improved month on month, following a bottom in April. June net sales were 82% higher than in April. In the current Q3, Axalta continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic across its business, although impacts on customer demand related to the virus continues to gradually improve month-to-month, it said.

2. Huntsman reports Q2 net loss

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman reported a net loss of USD59m for the second quarter of 2020 compared with net income of USD118m in the equivalent period last year, said the company. Sales were down 30%, at USD1.247bn. The coronavirus crisis severely impacted volumes in the quarter and prices fell on lower raw material costs. The company said its balance sheet remains strong with a net leverage of 1.5 times and total liquidity of approximately USD2.6bn. "We were fortunate to have been more prepared than ever as we entered the second quarter in an unprecedented global economic crisis, with little to no visibility,Ф said CEO Peter Huntsman. УWith our transformed balance sheet, there was no need to access capital markets."

3. Pandemic accelerates streamlining of new Dow

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow's restructuring plans were prompted by the difficult market conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they align with the company's long-term focus on streamlining operations and maximizing efficiency, reported Chemweek with reference to comments by executives during the company's earnings call on 23 July. Dow intends to shed uncompetitive assets, lay off about 2,000 employees, and hold off on new capital projects. "I don't expect us moving CapEx up until we get back to pre-COVID[-19]-type volume levels and margin levels," CEO Jim Fitterling said during the company's second-quarter earnings call. "And so that would mean probably a couple of years before you see us ramp back up into that kind of space."

4. Crude rises on weaker US dollar, GOP stimulus plan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude prices edged higher July 27 as a weakened US dollar offset renewed demand growth concerns, reported S&P Global. NYMEX September WTI settled up 31 cents at USD41.60/b, and ICE September Brent was up 7 cents on the day at USD43.41/b. The US dollar was on pace to decline for a seventh straight session July 27 as the market waited for Congressional Republicans to announce a new round of federal stimulus spending expected to total around USD1 trillion. Front-month ICE US dollar index futures fell to around 93.66 in afternoon trading, on pace for the lowest close since September 2018. Oil prices and dollar strength are typically inversely correlated.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:pigments, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, adhesives, paints and coatings, Axalta Coating Systems, Dow, Huntsman, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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