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COVID-19 - News digest as of 31.08.2020

August 31/2020

1. Indian Oil nears first Mauritius fuels export deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp, the countrys top refiner, is close to winning its first contract to export up to 720,000 tons of clean products to Mauritius under an annual deal from November, reported Reuters with reference to two sources familiar with the matter. IOC mostly stays away from participating in term tenders for fuel exports as the refiner sells most of its fuel in the local market, besides supplying its retail outlets in Nepal and Bhutan. This year because of falling local demand due to COVID-19 and weak margins, the company is attempting to lock in sales of its fuels. IOC this year also won its first contract to supply fuels to Bangladesh.

2. Net loss widens, sales fall for Rompetrol petrochemical segment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rompetrol Rafinare (Navodari, Romania) reports a net loss of USD9.6 million year on year (YOY) for its petrochemicals business in the second quarter, widening from a loss of USD6.1 million, mainly due to increased pressure on margins and lower propylene production volumes, reported Chemweek. Sales fell USD10 million YOY to USD27.7 million for the quarter, with production volumes of propylene declining by almost 50% to 20,000 metric tons. Production volumes of ethylene, however, rose to 14,000 metric tons, a rise of 5,000 metric tons compared to the prior-year period. The company says that due to high market volatility and margins pressure, its polyethylene (PE) plants continued to operate at the most economical rate. This include its high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant remaining in a non-operating status for the entire first half of the year, it says. Rompetrols low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant uses 100% imported ethylene as feedstock, while its polypropylene (PP) plant uses raw materials produced and delivered internally by the Petromidia refinery, it says. The companys petchems business is the only producer of PP and PE in Romania.

3. US EPA has not decided on biofuel mandates, refinery exemptions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has not made a decision on US biofuel blending requirements for 2021 or on petitions from refiners asking to be exempted from past-year requirements going back to 2011, reported Reuters with reference to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's statement. Wheeler could not assure that the agency will decide the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) by the Nov. 30 deadline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under US law, refiners are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel mix, or buy credits from those that do.

4. Indian crude imports fall to lowest in over a decade in July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indias crude oil imports fell in July to their lowest since March 2010 as fuel demand slowed amid renewed coronavirus-induced lockdowns and closures of refinery units for maintenance, reported Reuters with reference to government's data. Crude oil imports last month slumped about 36.4% from a year earlier to 12.34 million tonnes, or 2.92 million barrels per day, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed. That marked a fourth straight monthly decline. Fuel demand in the worlds third-biggest oil importer and consumer also fell, posting a fifth consecutive year-on-year drop.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:bioplastics, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Indian Oil Corp, Rompetrol, COVID-19, India, Romania, USA.
Category:General News
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