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COVID-19 - News digest as of 05.03.2021

March 05/2021

1. Chinese demand recovery hopes fade for Atlantic Basin crude sellers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With barrels of crude oil that will arrive in China in May now changing hands, hopes that demand from its refiners for African and European crude would tick higher following spring maintenance may have been premature, reported S&P Global. After a bumper 2020 for sales to China, 2021 has got off to a slow start with demand for long-haul crude hit by higher flat prices, refinery maintenance season and fresh restrictions on mobility on the back of an uptick in coronavirus levels which coincided with Lunar New Year celebrations. About 50 million mt/year of refining capacity at six state-owned refineries - five Sinopec and one CNOOC - was expected to be shut over the March-April period, while May could also witness some maintenance, albeit at a relatively lower level, industry data and information collected by S&P Global Platts showed.

2. Croda profits decline on COVID-19 impacts, higher M&A costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Croda International says its pretax profit decreased 10.9% in 2020, to USD375.5 million, and operating profit was 9.3% lower,  said Chemweek. Pretax profit was 1% below analysts' consensus estimate and operating profit exceeded consensus by 0.4%. Sales edged up by 0.9%, to GDP1.39 billion, driven by a recovery in fourth-quarter sales in personal care and performance technologies, and double-digit growth in life sciences in the second half of 2020. Profits reflected an adverse mix in both personal care and performance technologies, where demand for higher-value-add products was most impacted by the pandemic, as well as higher costs related to Crodas M&A activity in 2020, the company says. Fourth-quarter figures have not been disclosed.

3. Crude oil futures rise as OPEC+ rolls over production cuts, stronger US dollar slows rally

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures rose during mid-morning trade in Asia March 5, even as a stronger US dollar slowed the rally triggered by the OPEC+ decision to keep production quotas largely steady in April, reported S&P Global. At 11:14 am Singapore time (0314 GMT), the ICE Brent May contract was up by 68 cents/b (1.01%) from the March 4 settle to USD67.42/b, while the April NYMEX light sweet crude contract was up by 60 cents/b (0.94%) to USD64.43/b. The overwhelmingly bullish sentiment in the oil market was held back slightly by the rapid appreciation in the US dollar, which made crude more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. At 11.00 am in Singapore, the March ICE US dollar index futures were trading at 91.670, up 0.801% from the March 4 settle.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, personal hygiene products, CNOOC, Sinopec, COVID-19, China, USA.
Category:General News
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