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COVID-19 - News digest as of 30.10.2020

October 30/2020

1. DuPont surpasses Q3 estimates and raises full-year forecasts and cost-cutting targets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont forecasts higher-than-expected annual profits on Thursday as industrial material manufacturers� quarterly results exceeded expectations due to rigorous cost checks and a recovery in the auto industry, one of the largest markets, said Reuters. Manufacturing everything from brake fluid to fabrics used in protective clothing, the company has cut costs to combat the weak demand in some industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DuPont has raised its cost-cutting target by renegotiating several contracts and speeding up headcount reduction plans, saying it expects to save USD280 million annually, USD100 million more than previously predicted.

2. Huntsman Q3 earnings and revenues surpass estimates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsmans third-quarter earnings fell year on year on the back of weaker profitability for most divisions, but the US-headquartered firm expects the completed sale of its stake in pigments firm Venator to provide some uplift toward the end of the year, said the company. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell for all divisions other than polyurethanes (PU), with the sharpest fall for advanced materials with a 51% fall due to the global economic crisis vand customer destocking. The sale of Huntsmans remaining stake in Venator to SK Capital is expected to close before the end of the year, to provide USD250m in cash including a USD150m cash tax saving.

3. Exxon to cut 1,900 US jobs as pandemic hurts demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp announced it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices, reported Reuters. Exxon was once the largest US publicly traded company, but has been cutting costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new oilfields and expansions. It has promised to shed more than USD10 billion this year in project spending and cut operating expenses 15%. The company lost nearly USD1.7 billion in the first six months of the year and is expected to post another quarterly loss on Friday.

4. Shell posts Q3 2020 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell reported an 80% slump in adjusted earnings for the third quarter of 2020 to USD955 million, as it continues to suffer from lower prices and output as global demand suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, reported S&P Global. The result, however, was well above consensus estimates of a USD42 million adjusted profit for the period. During the third quarter, Shell saw a 14% slide in year-on-year upstream production volumes of 2.2 million boe/d reflecting OPEC+ curtailments, lower gas demand and hurricanes in US Gulf of Mexico.

5. Clariant sales, EBITDA decline on lower volumes, currency effects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant says its third-quarter sales declined 14% year on year (YOY) to 893.0 million Swiss francs (USD979.5 million) due to lower volumes and negative currency effects that also squeezed profitability, with EBITDA for the period lower by 16% YOY, to SFr127 million, according to Chemweek. The companys EBITDA margin recorded a slight YOY decrease of 0.3 percentage points, to 14.2%. Net profits have not been disclosed. Clariants care chemicals and catalysis businesses recorded higher EBITDA margins due to more favorable product mixes, cost mitigation, and efficiency improvement, the company says. Natural resources posted a lower EBITDA margin, mainly due to lower volumes in industries affected the most by COVID-19 such as automotive, textiles, and oil, the company says.

6. Sumitomo Chemical swings to loss on one-off items, COVID-19 impact; elevates forecast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical swung to a net loss of GDP1.0 billion (USD10.4 million) in the fiscal first half ended 30 September, compared with a net profit of GDP29.7 billion a year earlier, said Chemweek. The figure includes one-off, unrealized losses on securities amounting to GDP33.6 billion. Sales were down 5.4% year on year (YOY) to ?1 trillion. Operating profit plunged 50.4% YOY to GDP50.7 billion, from GDP102.5 billion in the year-ago period. Quarterly figures have not been disclosed.

7. Crude plunges 5% on Europe lockdowns, US inventory build

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures settled near one-month lows Oct. 28 as fundamental outlooks dimmed amid tightened COVID-19 restrictions in Europe and a US crude inventory build, as per S&P Global. NYMEX December WTI settled USD2.18 lower at USD37.39/b, and ICE December Brent was down USD2.08 at USD39.12/b. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities nationwide beginning Nov. 2, according to media reports. The country has seen 14,964 new COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, the government said.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, Clariant International, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, Huntsman, Shell, Sumitomo, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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