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COVID-19 - News digest as of 17.08.2020

August 17/2020

1. Ineos Styrolution Canada donates to Ontario mental health service organizations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- As demand increases for COVID-19 related mental health programs, material supplier Ineos Styrolution Canada been working with Ontario organizations St. Clair Child & Youth Services and Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent to fund virtual, mental health programs for their community, said Canplastics. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of their Outreach Program, a cornerstone summer activity for “at-risk” children within the community, Ineos Styrolution Canada, delivered a USD10,000 grant through the Ineos Community Fund to St. Clair Child & Youth Services. This grant will used for the creation of virtual summer camps, ensuring that staff will have the ability to stay connected with families during challenging times.

2. US ethylene exports to Asia bounce back

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Navigator Holdings (London, UK) says US ethylene exports are back on the rise, driven by recovering Asian demand and a continuing arbitrage, according to Chemweek. The company shared its assessment in preliminary second-quarter financial results released on 13 August. Ethylene shipments slowed late in the first quarter as COVID-19 lockdowns and the related global economic downturn weighed on demand, says Navigator. “However, as Asian economies restarted during the latter half of the second quarter, so too did the demand for ethylene. An upsurge in US ethylene export capacity from our([Morgan’s Point) marine export terminal, drove an uptake in cargo liftings from the second half of May onwards, positively impacting handysize ethylene tonnage.”

3. Hexion swings to Q2 loss

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hexion swung to a Q2 operating loss on weaker sales volumes due to the global coronavirus pandemic, said the company. Also weighing on earnings were margin reductions in Hexion’s base epoxy resins business due to competitive pressures, as well as an outage at the company’s Pernis site in the Netherlands. After emerging from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 1 July 2019, Hexion applies “fresh start accounting”, meaning that results are not directly comparable year on year. "We continue to see an impact in the third quarter of 2020 from the pandemic, although our July volumes continued to improve sequentially compared to the prior month,” said acting CEO George Knight.

4. Refiner says its 15 refineries to run up to 79% of total throughput in Q3

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Independent U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp plans to operate its 15 refineries at up to 79% of their combined total throughput capacity of 3.15 MMbpd  in the third quarter of 2020, the company said, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Valero, the second largest U.S. refiner, said its eight Gulf Coast refineries will operate in a range between 1.4 million and 1.45 MMbpd during the third quarter, as demand remains reduced because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company said. The company expects demand will increase so that inventories will match the pre-pandemic five-year average sometime in 2021, Valero President Lane Riggs said.

5. Oil refiners shut plants as demand losses seen continuing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil refiners are permanently closing processing plants in Asia and North America and facilities in Europe could be next as uncertain prospects for a recovery in fuel demand after the coronavirus pandemic triggered losses, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing. The pandemic initially cut fuel demand 30% and refiners temporarily idled plants. But consumption has not returned to pre-pandemic levels and lower travel may be here to stay, leading to tough decisions for permanent shutdowns. Here are some of the plants involved: Royal Dutch Shell will permanently shut its 110,000-barrel-per-day Tabangao facility in Philippines’ Batangas province, one of only two oil refineries in the country. Shell blamed a pandemic-led slump in margins for turning the plant into an import terminal.

6. Gurit profits rise, sales nearly flat YOY

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Gurit posted a fall in earnings during the first half of 2020, but saw higher net sales from continued operations, said Chemweek. Gurit's performance was boosted by the discontinuation of its automotive business which weighed on the previous year's performance. Sales in the aerospace business unit fell by nearly one-third as travel restrictions introduced to combat the pandemic caused a crash in sectoral demand. Gurit’s composite materials business segment posted an uptick in sales as growth in the wind energy market more than offset a decline in the marine and industrial markets. Gurit achieved an operating profit margin of 11.1% compared with 9.7% for the first half of 2019.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PE, crude and gaz condensate, ethylene, medicine, petrochemistry, adhesives, Gurit, Hexion, Ineos Styrolution, Shell, Valero, COVID-19, China, USA.
Category:General News
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