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COVID-19 - News digest as of 15.01.2021

January 15/2021

1. IEA says oil market outlook clouded by vaccine roll-out variables

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil producers face an unprecedented challenge to balance supply and demand as factors including the pace and response to COVID-19 vaccines cloud the outlook, reported Reuters with reference to an official with International Energy Agency"s (IEA) statement. "Producers are grappling with huge uncertainty about where this goes from here," Tim Gould, head of energy supply outlooks and investment, told the Gulf Intelligence forum. "That"s not just in terms of economic recovery but indicators we wouldn"t necessarily normally be looking at: (such as the) levels of trust in different countries about vaccines."

2. Solvay accelerates reorganization due to COVID-19

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay says it has accelerated changes that form part of the company�s G.R.O.W. strategy, announced at the end of 2019, due to the �new economic reality linked to COVID-19�, reported Chemweek. The strategy involves a reorganization of the company"s businesses and efficiency improvements to create a new operating model and simplified portfolio. When announcing the strategy, Solvay said it was targeting cost cuts of EUR300-350 million (USD366-427 million) by 2024. G.R.O.W. stands for �growth, resilient cash, optimize, win.� Solvay says in a statement emailed to CW on Wednesday that it is re-examining its business support activities, which has accelerated the changes. These activities include human resources, facilities, information technology, communications, finance, procurement, industrial, strategy, and legal functions.

3. Crude price rally extends amid dollar retreat, stimulus hopes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude prices settled higher Jan. 14 as a weaker US dollar offset reports of weakened Chinese crude demand, reported S&P Global. NYMEX February WTI settled 66 cents higher at USD53.57/b, and ICE March Brent was up 36 cents at USD56.42/b. The US dollar turned lower in US trading after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed the Fed"s commitment to lower interest rates. Powell also said any tapering of asset purchases would be telegraphed in advance. "Fed Chair Powell affirmed the Fed"s playbook and has tentatively put an end to any taper talk," OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya said in a note. "Dollar weakness resumed following Fed Chair Powell"s dovish commitment and on nervous anticipation over Biden"s stimulus package announcement later today." President-elect Biden is expected to present a sweeping pandemic relief and stimulus plan later Jan. 14 he has said previously would be worth "trillions." NYMEX February RBOB settled 51 points higher at USD1.5539/gal, and February ULSD finished up 2.05 cents at USD1.6194/gal. In its closely watched oil market report released Jan. 14, OPEC kept its 2021 global demand forecast little changed at 95.91 million b/d, compared with 95.89 million b/d last month. The forecast is still 5.9 million b/d higher than 2020. While rising COVID-19 infections and additional lockdown measures are affecting most major OECD countries, "the situation in emerging economies seems to have improved lately," OPEC said.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, crude and gaz condensate, compounding, medicine, petrochemistry, Solvay, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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