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COVID-19 - News digest as of 01.12.2020

December 01/2020

1.Honeywell reinstates guidance, expects 14% profit decline in 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell's performance materials and technologies unit reports third-quarter net profit of USD442 million, down 24.0% year on year (YOY), on sales down 15.6% YOY, to USD2.2 billion, said the company. Honeywell  (HON) - Get Report on Friday posted third-quarter adjusted earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts and sales ahead of predictions as double-digit growth in its defense and space, warehouse automation and PPE products and services offset a drop in aerospace revenue. The company also reinstated guidance for its fourth quarter and full year amid expectations that the worst effects of the pandemic are past. Honeywell posted net income of USD781 million, or USD1.07 a share, vs. USD1.65 billion, or USD2.23 a share, in the comparable year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the company earned USD1.56 a share, above the USD1.49 a share expected by analysts polled by FactSet. Sales came in at USD7.8 billion, down 14% from USD9.1 billion a year ago though above analysts’ forecasts of USD7.7 billion. Aerospace sales, which includes parts for commercial airplanes, fell 25% on a year-over-year basis, driven by reduced flight hours and lower volumes among carriers due to the pandemic and drop-off in travel.

2. US distillate inventories have fallen back within the five-year range

MOSCOW (MRC) -- According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report, for the week ending November 13, 2020, US distillate inventories fell to 143 million barrels, back within its previous five-year (2015-19) range for the first time since May 8, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing. US distillate inventories reached 180 million barrels in late July, only 3% less than in December 1982, the largest US inventory in EIA’s data, which go back to 1982. Distillate inventories started the year near the bottom of the five-year range and briefly fell lower than the range in March and April. Distillate inventories then increased rapidly as the US economy responded to COVID-19, and from late May through mid-September, inventories remained higher than 174 million barrels. Since mid-September, inventories have been declining and are once again within the five-year range.

3. Global auto sales improve modestly again in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In North America, according to Scotiabank’s latest Global Auto Report, Canadian auto sales similarly continued to stabilize in October with a modest -0.6% month-over-month (m/m) (sa) deceleration, sitting 2.5% down year-over-year, said Canplastics.  "October’s selling rate at 1.85 million saar units is only 5% below 2019 annual sales, mirroring the broader economic recovery where gains are largely moderating following impressive rebounds in the immediate aftermath of lockdowns,” the report said. “Second waves across Canada will likely moderate auto sales heading into the end of the year.” In fact, preliminary figures for Ontario and, to a lesser extent Quebec, already showed slowing auto sales in October as those economies entered second waves earlier than other parts of the country, Scotiabank said. “But these are not expected to destroy demand as much as dampen demand in the near term with some deferral in sales into the new year," the report said.

4. Oil pulls back as OPEC punts on production cut extensions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures settled lower Nov. 30 as OPEC delegates finished a first day of negotiations without a deal on whether to extend crude production quotas into the new year, reported S&P Global. NYMEX January WTI settled 19 cents lower at USD45.34/b, and ICE January Brent finished the session down 59 cents at USD47.59/b. The OPEC+ alliance at one point seemed close to a decision to maintain its collective 7.7 million b/d in output cuts through at least March to buttress oil prices against the impact of rising COVID-19 infections, but fissures have emerged as fatigue among many countries to rein in so much of their crude production has grown, and talks so far have failed to achieve a watertight consensus.

5. Schneider Electric invests USD40 million to strengthen US supply chain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, announced an additional USD40 million investment towards modernizing its US manufacturing plants in Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Texas, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing. The monies will go towards innovative technologies and new production lines that will help increase Schneider Electric’s capacity of operations in the US for its customers, as well as further develop its local workforce. COVID-19 placed a spotlight on the critical vulnerabilities global manufacturing and supply chains can face during unprecedented disruption. This additional stake in the US is part of a larger, strategic approach to strengthen resilience, increase flexibility, and safeguard its supply chain. The initiative will provide Schneider Electric with greater control of its production processes that will help them deliver quality products and services to its customers, while introducing new learning opportunities to the workforce.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, crude and gaz condensate, car components, petrochemistry, Honeywell, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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