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COVID-19 - News digest as of 20.11.2020

November 20/2020

1. COVID-19 period an inflection point for energy transition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The COVID-19 period will be viewed “as an inflection point for the global energy transition,” according to Mark Eramo, global vice president/oil markets, midstream, downstream, chemicals at IHS Markit. The impact of the pandemic going forward on the decarbonization of energy consumption “causes a faster pace of change, versus what we’ve seen in the past,” said Eramo, speaking at the Chemical Industry Financial Outlook & Sustainability Forum 2020, being held in a virtual format and hosted by IHS Markit. Peak oil demand may also now have taken place, Eramo says. “We believe COVID-19 has reset oil demand at a lower level. With the move to work from home—even after we get a vaccine and get back to normal—we’re looking at scenarios where 2019 could be that peak in world oil demand, depending on whether we return to our commutes, by car, train, or plane, and the degree that all that comes back.” Oil demand in 2020 is forecast by IHS Markit to be about 94 million b/d, well down on the 2019 total of just more than 100 million b/d.

2. Indorama Ventures reports lower profit on higher volume

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, has announced its third quarter 2020 financial results, said the company. Reported net profit is THB 380 million in 3Q20 and THB 1,104 million for 9M20. Our performance this year provided us significant insights into the growth of the future market, while the company remains on a path towards enhanced incremental performance progress, from 4% ROCE towards our target ROCE of 15% by 2023. In 3Q20 we delivered record sales volume of 3.6 million tonnes, registering growth of 18% year-on-year (YoY). Sales volume grew to 3.2 million tonnes, or 4% YoY on a comparable basis. This continuous volume growth is a clear indication of the resilient nature of the company’s products and the global access we have to our customers. IVL achieved an operating cash flow of USD 354 million in 3Q2020 while operating cash flow for 9M20 was USD994 million, thus providing us ample liquidity of USD 2.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents as well as unused credit lines.

3. Coronavirus accelerates oil refining shift to Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Slumping fuel consumption during the pandemic is accelerating the long-term shift of refining capacity from North America and Europe to Asia, and from older, smaller refineries to modern, higher-capacity mega-refineries, reported Rueters. The result is a wave of closures, often centering on refineries that only narrowly survived the previous closure wave in the years after the recession in 2008/09. Fuel consumption has been stagnant or falling across most of North America, Western Europe and Japan since 2007 as a result of efficiency improvements.

4. Ferro beats estimates as quarterly demand improvement beats expectations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ferro has reported third-quarter net income up 12.9% year-on-year (YOY), to USD14.5 million, on net sales down 1.4%, to USD241.9 million, reported Chemweek. Adjusted earnings totaled 19 cents/share, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of 15 cents/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York, New York). Sales were up 18.1% on a sequential basis from the second-quarter, exceeding the company’s expectations. “We currently expect the positive trends in demand for our products to continue in the coming months,” says Ferro CEO Peter Thomas. “Our customers do not appear to be de-stocking in the fourth quarter, as they have in more typical years, and we are seeing an uptick in demand for the new year as our customers’ markets continue to recover. We also believe that changes in consumer and other behavior resulting from the COVID pandemic will accelerate demand for Ferro products in multiple markets, including renewable, healthcare, and electronics.” The company does not anticipate a “significant impact” to demand from a second wave of the pandemic, Thomas adds.

5. Crude oil futures fall on bearish API data, lack of OPEC+ guidance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures moved lower during mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 18, after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a build in US crude inventories, and after the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) failed to make definite statements on the status of OPEC+ production cuts, reported S&P Global. At 10:32 am Singapore time (0232 GMT), ICE Brent January crude futures were down 15 cents/b (0.34%) from the Nov. 17 settle at USD43.60/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract was down 24 cents/b (0.58%) at USD41.19/b. The lower crude prices were seen after API data showed Nov. 17 that crude inventories rose by 4.174 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 13. Fundamentals in the downstream gasoline markets were also unimproved, with API data showing a 256,000-barrel build in gasoline inventories in the week ended Nov. 13. The one positive from the API report was a 5.024 million-barrel draw in distillate inventories. At 10:32 am Singapore time, the NYMEX December RBOB contract was trading 0.38 cent/gal (0.33%) lower than the Nov. 17 settle at USD1.1494/gal and the NYMEX December ULSD contract was down by 0.12 cent/gal (0.10%) at USD1.2379/gal. Pan Jingyi, senior market strategist at IG, acknowledged that the bearish API data had dampened sentiment this morning, and added, "The market is taking a breather after a vaccine-driven rally, and reassessing the situation on the pandemic front, as infection numbers have been rising the past couple of days."
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, North America, crude and gaz condensate, PET-granulate, terephthalic acid, coatings, medicine, petrochemistry, adhesives, packaging, paints and coatings, Ferro Corporation, Indorama Ventures PLC, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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