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COVID-19 - News digest as of 03.08.2020

August 03/2020

1. PQ Group earnings fall as COVID-19 dings demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PQ Group today reported second-quarter net income down 48.0% year-on-year (YOY), to USD15.9 million, on sales down 16.7%, to USD359.5 million, said Chemweek. Adjusted earnings totaled 22 cents/share, ahead of analysts� consensus estimate of 19 cents/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York, New York). The declines were �largely on lower volume from COVID-19 impacts related to stay-at-home mandates and demand disruption for industrial applications,� PQ says. Performance chemicals segment sales declined 19.8% YOY, to $142.6 million, while segment adjusted EBITDA was down 17.5%, to USD34.0 million. Demand from industrial applications declined during the quarter, but demand from personal care applications generally held up well.

2. Total swings to USD8.4 billion net loss on oil, gas write-down, petchems margins "resilient"

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total has swung to a net loss for the second quarter of 2020 of USD8.37 billion from a profit of USD2.76 billion in the prior-year period, due largely to a USD8.1-billion impairment after lowering its future oil and gas price assumptions and cutting the value of some of its upstream oil and gas assets, said Chemweek. On an adjusted earnings basis it reports income of USD126 million, 96% lower year-on-year (YOY) but beating analysts� consensus expectations for a net loss of about USD520 million, as reported by Refinitiv (New York). The company says the lower adjusted earnings were due to lower Brent crude oil and natural gas prices, reduced refining margins, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand. Net cash flow fell to USD226 million in the second quarter from USD3.3 billion a year earlier, with group sales plunging by over 50% YOY to USD25.7 billion.

3. ExxonMobil prepares spending, job cuts in last ditch move to save dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp is preparing deep spending and job cuts, according to people familiar with the matter, as it fights to preserve a 8% shareholder dividend with a multi-billion-dollar quarterly loss looming, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing. It was unclear how extensive the cuts will be. The largest US oil company slashed this year�s budget by 30% in April, but Chief Executive Darren Woods�s turnaround through rebounding demand and increased asset sales have not panned out and losses are climbing. On Friday, Exxon is expected to report a USD2.63 billion second-quarter loss, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, on sharply lower prices and weaker production, the first back-to-back quarterly losses in at least 36 years. Shares are down 35% so far this year as the coronavirus pandemic has crushed fuel demand.

4. Indian Oil ees low run rates in 2020-2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp, the country�s top refiner, will continue to operate its refineries below capacity in 2020/21 as it sees local and overseas fuel demand remaining subdued, reported Reuters with reference to IOC Chairman S. M. Vaidya"s statement. IOC, along with its unit Chennai Petroleum, controls about a third of India�s five million-barrels-per-day (bpd) refining capacity. Vaidya said refinery runs have declined to about 75% from 93% in early July on low fuel demand. He said the operations are expected to remain at 70%-75% for the remainder of the fiscal year through March 2021. �It is very difficult to predict... We don�t expect demand to recover to pre-COVID levels in the near future,� he said, adding the company could raise refinery runs to 90% if demand recovers.

5. Refiner Phillips 66 post smaller-than-expected loss on higher retail margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 posted a smaller-than-expected loss as the refiner"s retail marketing business, which buys and resells petroleum products, benefited from a decline in prices following the coronavirus crisis, reported Reuters. The unit buys refined products from others and resells them, pocketing the difference and benefiting from improved margins when prices are down. The unit also sells other specialty products, including lubricants.

6. Canadas Imperial oil posts second-quarter loss on coronavirus-led oil slump

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canadian integrated energy company Imperial Oil Ltd posted a second-straight quarterly loss, hit by lower crude prices and refining margins as the COVID-19 pandemic dented demand for fuel and related products, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. The coronavirus outbreak led to the grounding of flights and brought economies to a standstill, hurting demand for fuel and forcing producers to implement widespread output cuts to curb oversupply after oil prices collapsed this year. Imperial, which is majority owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said its refinery throughput averaged 278,000 barrels per day, 19% lower than last year, with overall utilization at 66% in the quarter.

7. Refiner Valero posts smaller loss than feared as demand rebounds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Independent US refiner Valero Energy Corp reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday, adding that it saw �a rapid recovery� in demand for its products as the quarter progressed, reported Reuters. The results, which kicked off US refining earnings, failed to lift investor sentiment as shares of the company and other refiners fell 3% to 7%, dragged down by oil prices that plummeted on concerns fuel demand recovery could be capped by a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

8. PBF Energy sees jet fuel demand capping industry-wide refinery runs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Depressed demand for jet fuel could cap refinery utilization rates across the entire industry, according to executives at PBF Energy, the fourth-largest U.S. oil refiner by capacity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Demand for gasoline and distillates has recovered by 80% to 90% since the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, but jet fuel demand has only rebounded 30%, according to the Energy Information Administration. Because refineries cannot make products like diesel without producing jet fuel as well, they will restrain output, PBF Chief Executive Thomas Nimbley said on Friday.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, Indian Oil Corp, Phillips 66, Total Petrochemicals, Valero, COVID-19, India, USA.
Category:General News
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