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COVID-19 - News digest as of 10.09.2020

September 11/2020

1. Viva Energy warns it may shut refinery on demand plunge

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Australia�s Viva Energy Group announced it may be able to resume full output at its Victorian refinery if coronavirus lockdown curbs are eased, but warned a full shutdown is still in the cards given the dire long-term outlook for the industry, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. A virus-driven demand slump has battered Australia�s oil refiners and sparked threats of closures, prompting the government to launch talks with the industry on how to shore up the sector. Viva, which has already reduced production at its Geelong refinery, said if COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed as foreshadowed and fuel demand recovers, the refinery could return to full production in November 2020.

2. AkzoNobel sees stable revenue in third quarter

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has provided an update on its business performance and says that market headwinds have continued to ease during recent months, said Chemweek. Based on current trading, the company expects total revenue for the third quarter to be close to the level in the same period of the previous year in constant currencies. Details about profit expectations have not been provided. The company says that since the situation with COVID-19 is still evolving, trends differ per region and segment. However, end-market demand for decorative paints is strong in Europe and South America, and continues to improve for performance coatings, it says.

3. Vietnam importers offer sales bonus to cut diesel inventory as virus slashes demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnam oil importers are offering domestic retailers a commission on diesel sales, in an unusual tactic to clear high inventories built up as the coronavirus pandemic has slashed demand, according to two sources, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. The move underscores difficulties they face in moving the industrial fuel in emerging economies such as Vietnam which has posted the lowest second-quarter economic growth in decades. �Diesel demand is almost dead because it has been strongly disrupted in industrial factories where activity has been killed by COVID-19,� a Vietnam-based oil industry source said.

4. BASF to build medical center at Ludwigshafen, scraps plans for new office building

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF says it is continuing the modernization and expansion of its Ludwigshafen, Germany, complex with construction of a medical center focused on occupational medicine, according to Chemweek. Work on the new building will begin in early 2021 with completion scheduled for mid-2023, the company says. Meanwhile, due to the economic environment caused by COVID-19, BASF has examined all planned construction projects and decided no longer to pursue a project to construct a new office building at Gate 2 of the site, on the plot of what used to be the Friedrich-Engelhorn skyscraper, it says.

5. Oil prices reverse some losses but demand concerns persist

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures clawed back some of the losses they sustained in the previous session, but a rebound in COVID-19 cases in some countries undermined hopes for a steady recovery in global demand, reported Reuters. Brent crude LCOc1 was up 29 cents, or 0.7%, at USD40.07 a barrel by 1339 GMT after dropping more than 5% on Tuesday to fall below USD40 a barrel for the first time since June. US crude CLc1 was up 57 cents, or 1.6%, at USD37.33 a barrel, having fallen nearly 8% in the previous session. Both major oil benchmarks are trading close to three-month lows.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, crude and gaz condensate, coatings, petrochemistry, paints and coatings, Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals BV, BASF, COVID-19, Australia, Vietnam, Germany, USA.
Category:General News
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