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COVID-19 - News digest as of 03.02.2021

February 03/2021

1. Wacker projects swing to profit in 2020, lower sales due to COVID-19 impact on volumes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker expects to post a net income of EUR200m in 2020, swinging from a net loss of EUR630m in 2019 on improved operational earnings, the German specialty chemicals firm said. The company's earnings before income and taxes (EBIT) in 2019 were weighed by an impairment charge of EUR760m on the carrying amount of its polysilicon production facilities. Due to the coronavirus pandemics effects, the companys sales contracted sharply in the second quarter, the company said in a statement. The company's earnings regained some ground in the third and fourth quarters of last year, supported mainly by robust construction and polysilicon demand, but did not fully make up for the sales slump in the second quarter, it said. "Wacker's sales trend was slowed not only by somewhat lower volumes year over year, but also by price changes and exchange-rate effects," it said.

2. S.Korean S-Oil expects 2021 refining margins to improve gradually

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's S-Oil Corp expects refining margins to improve gradually this year, boosted by a continuing recovery in demand as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out, amid limited capacity additions, reported The Economic Times. The country's third-largest refiner, whose major shareholder is Saudi Aramco, on Thursday posted operating profit of 93 billion won (USD83.19 million) for the quarter to December, up from 9.5 billion in the corresponding year-ago period. It was S-Oil's first operating profit since the fourth quarter of 2019.

3. Crude oil tests one-year highs as market eyes OPEC+ compliance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude futures settled near one-year highs Feb. 2 amid a focus on OPEC+ production compliance and improved demand outlooks, reported S&P Global. NYMEX March WTI settled USD1.21 higher at USD54.76/b and ICE April Brent climbed USD1.11 to USD57.46/b. A second OPEC production survey, this time by Bloomberg, confirmed the group's over-compliance to cuts in January, with production coming in at around 120,000 b/d less than the 22.12 million b/d agreement. OPEC+ ministers will convene Feb. 3 for a monitoring committee meeting. With production quotas set through March and oil prices rising to pre-crash levels on the back of Saudi Arabia's surprise extra output cut, delegates say they expect relatively peaceful talks on the committee's usual agenda items of quota compliance and oil market forecasts.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, South America, PP, PE, EVA, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, S-Oil, Wacker, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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