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COVID-19 - News digest as of 04.03.2021

March 04/2021

1. ExxonMobil to cut 7% of Singapore workforce amid unprecedented market conditions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp plans to cut its workforce in Singapore, home to its largest oil refining and petrochemical complex, by about 7% amid the unprecedented market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement. About 300 positions out of 4,000 current jobs will be impacted by the end of 2021, the company said in a statement. The Singapore layoffs come weeks after Exxon announced its plan to close its 72-year-old Altona refinery in Australia and convert it to an import terminal. The top US oil producer, once Americas most valuable company, posted a historic annual loss for 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic slashed energy demand.

2. Petchems demand, gasoline blending to buoy European naphtha in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand and supply growth for naphtha in European markets is likely to be moderate until at least the second quarter of 2021 as inventories are run down and deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine starts to make some headway in reviving oil products demand, according to Chemweek with reference to IHS Markit analysts. Refinery margins in Europe are forecast to remain under pressure from stocks that have built up during the pandemic amid volumes flowing into the region from abroad. Despite low refinery run rates, European naphtha supplies will not be tight because of the imbalance in different refinery yields, says IHS Markit principal analyst Eleanor Budds.

3. Crude oil futures edge higher on bullish US product data, market awaits OPEC+ decision

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures ticked higher during the mid-morning trade in Asia, with optimism over large draws in US product inventories trickling down into markets otherwise cautious ahead of the OPEC+ meeting, reported S&P Global. At 10:32 am Singapore time (0232 GMT), the ICE Brent May contract was up by 19 cents/b (0.30%) from the March 3 settle to USD64.26/b, while the April NYMEX light sweet crude contract was up by 10 cents/b (0.16%) to USD61.38/b. Data released from the Energy Information Administration spurred some optimism in the market as it showed massive declines in US product inventories.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Exxon Mobil, COVID-19, Singapore, USA.
Category:General News
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