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COVID-19 - News digest as of 30.11.2020

November 30/2020

1. Two-thirds of Canadian business owners negatively impacted by COVID-19

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Two-thirds (68%) of Canadian business owners continue to feel the negative impacts of COVID-19, a new study from CIBC finds, with more than half (57%) believing businesses in their area are in crisis mode and 43% believing businesses are in recovery mode, said Canplastics. According to the study, top concerns are a reduced demand for their products and services (37%) and worries about the overall viability of operations (23%). Despite this, the majority (75%) of business owners remain optimistic they will rebound once the pandemic subsides.

2. EU chemical production shows signs of recovery, COVID-19 second wave threatens another slowdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Production of chemicals in the EU showed signs of recovery in the third quarter of 2020 with a significant sequential increase of 6.1% compared with an 8.7% sequential decline in the second quarter, according to Chemweek with reference to Cefic�s latest quarterly report. In the first nine months of the year, EU chemical production dropped 4.4% year on year (YOY), due mainly to the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, the report says. Overall EU manufacturing output fell sharply, by 10.6% YOY, with automotive output losing more than 28%, Cefic says.

3. Packaging supplier Cascades to close its Laval, Quebec plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Citing in part the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the marketplace, Quebec-based packaging supplier Cascades Inc. has announced that its Laval plant, which specializes in the manufacture of napkins for the away-from-home market, will be closing on June 30, 2021, said Canplastics. In a Nov. 25 statement, officials with Cascade said the Laval plant, which has an annual converting capacity of 1.4 million cases, will move its production volume to other Cascades plants and filled by additional capacity. The plant currently employs 54 workers, and Cascades plans to offer to relocate as many employees as possible to its many other business units in Quebec.

4. Global oil and gas contract activity report marginal increase during Q3 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global oil and gas industry has witnessed a marginal increase in the number of oil and gas contracts from 1,104 in Q2 2020 to 1,136 in Q3 2020, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. This is in spite of challenges such as crude oil process and the COVID-19 outbreak, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. The industry recorded contract value of USD14.16B in Q3 2020, as compared to the previous quarter that reported USD32.51B in value. Primarily this difference was due to a high value USD19.21B contract agreement reported by Qatar Petroleum in Q2 2020.

5. S&P Global agrees to buy IHS Markit for USD44 billion.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- S&P Global, the owner of stock indexes like the Dow and the S&P 500, said on Monday that it plans to acquire IHS Markit for USD44 billion, including debt, reported The New York Times. The transaction would create a financial information powerhouse at a time when data increasingly fuels automated trading. The all-stock deal - the biggest announced so far this year - would give S&P Global control of IHS Markit, whose software is used by many of the world�s biggest financial institutions. It is the latest show of strength by big companies amid the pandemic. Corporate boards have increasingly come to believe that getting bigger will help them ride out the turbulence caused by the coronavirus, while investors have encouraged companies to use stocks and cheap debt to buy growth.

6. Indian refiner October oil processing highest since March

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil processed by Indian refiners rose to its highest in seven months in October as fuel demand picked up although throughput remained lower than a year earlier, hurt by the coronavirus pandemic�s impact on industrial and transport activity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Crude oil throughput in October dropped 16.1% from a year earlier to 4.35 million bpd (18.39 million tons), but was the highest since March when the country went into a nationwide lockdown, provisional data issued by the government showed on Wednesday. Pointing to a recovery in economic activity, India�s fuel consumption registered its first year-on-year increase since February last month, data showed earlier.

7. Petronas warns of challenging fourth quarter amid volatile oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas warned on Friday that the remainder of the year would remain tough due to prolonged low oil prices and moderate demand recovery hampered by the coronavirus, as it recorded a third-quarter loss, reported Reuters. �Amid the fluid operating environment brought about by the pandemic as well as prolonged volatility of oil prices, Petronas is adopting a cautious outlook and anticipates that the remainder of 2020 will be challenging,� said Tengku Muhammad Taufik, president and group chief executive officer.

8. Crude oil futures struggle as near-term pandemic considerations weigh

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The trajectories of the ICE Brent futures and NYMEX crude futures were in opposite directions during the mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 27, as the latter underwent a price correction, not having fallen as much as the former during the trading session on Nov. 26, with both markers further weighed down by heightened concerns over the pandemic situation in the US, reported S&P Global. At 11:36 am Singapore time (0336 GMT), ICE Brent January contract was up 10 cents/b (0.21%) from the Nov. 26 settle at USD47.90/b, while the NYMEX January light sweet crude contract was down 70 cents/b (1.53%) at US45.01/b.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:crude and gaz condensate, gas processing, petrochemistry, packaging, Petronas, COVID-19, UK, India, Canada, Malaysia, USA.
Category:General News
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