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COVID-19 - News digest as of 11.12.2020

December 11/2020

1. Australia moves into top three countries for renewable investment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Australia has moved into the three most attractive countries in the world for renewables investment for the first time due to rapid solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment, research shows, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. In a bi-annual index of the top 40 renewable energy markets worldwide by consultancy EY, the United States held on to top spot, followed by China. Australia rose to third place, from fourth in the last ranking in May, while India climbed to fourth from seventh due to record low solar tariff bids and a new target for renewables generation, EY said. Australia has deployed more than 10 gigawatts of roof-mounted solar PV, by far the largest per capita rooftop-PV deployment in the world. Its plans for renewable energy export links to Asia also helped elevate its position. However, Australia�s renewables investment fell in the second quarter due to the COVID-19 crisis and policy uncertainty and the government continues to subsidize both the natural gas and oil refining industries as part of efforts to revitalize the economy.

2. Butadiene demand recovery to battle fresh online capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Global butadiene demand is expected to continue to recover in the first half of 2021, in line with increasing downstream tire and automobile production. However, Asia"s spot demand may slow down in line with rising butadiene capacities, reported S&P Global. "Petrochemical demand has remained resilient," Enterprise Products Partners" co-CEO Randall Fowler said in its third quarter earnings call. This was seen in butadiene and its derivatives in the latter part of 2020. In the early part of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic slashed downstream tire and automobile plant operations, impacting the global butadiene market. In order to clear excess supplies, European suppliers actively exported cargoes to Asia, which pushed Asian butadiene prices to an all-time low in May 2020, according to S&P Global Platts data.

3. Crude oil futures buoyed by vaccine momentum ahead of possible FDA approval

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures continued their upward trajectory during mid-morning Asian trade Dec. 11 as vaccine momentum intensified following an endorsement of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee, and crude demand from India and China also supporting sentiment, reported S&P Global. At 10:58 am Singapore time (0258 GMT), the ICE Brent February contract was up 15 cents/b (0.3%) from the Dec. 10 settle to USD50.41/b, while the January NYMEX light sweet crude contract was up 22 cents/b (0.47%) at USD47/b. Both markers had closed at nine-month highs on Dec. 10, with the ICE Brent February contract rising 2.84% to settle at USD50.25/b and the January NYMEX light sweet crude contract rising 2.77% to settle at USD46.78. The risk-on sentiment in the market intensified after a committee of experts on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products advisory committee voted that the FDA grant the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine an Emergency Use Authorization.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, bioplastics, PS, ABS, butadien, crude and gaz condensate, medicine, petrochemistry, COVID-19, Australia, USA.
Category:General News
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