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COVID-19 - News digest as of 23.04.2021

April 23/2021

1. American Kraton has developed a polymer against coronavirus

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The American company Kraton has announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted an emergency exemption for the use of its new sulfonated polymer, which rapidly inactivates the coronavirus, said the company. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency permit for the use of the polymer in the states of the United States, Georgia, Utah and Minnesota for specific applications to protect against the COVID-19 virus. American Delta Airlines will be the first to use this material in these states.

2. IOC refineries operating at 95% capacity in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp Ltd's (IOC) refineries are operating at about 95% of their capacity, down from 100% at the same time last month, reported Reuters with reference to source's statement. Coronavirus cases have surged in India, leading to curbs on movement across the country, a move analysts say could hit fuel demand in the world's third largest oil importer and consumer. An official at IOC, India's biggest oil refiner, said the cuts in runs at its refineries were "marginal" but analysts and industry officials say there could deeper reductions in output from the country's refineries in coming days.

3. Valero posts larger Q1 loss due to polar storm

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US refiner Valero Energy Corp posted a larger quarterly loss as a winter storm hit its operations in February, but its top boss shrugged off the rare event to focus on rising fuel demand and fatter refining margins, reported Reuters. A cold snap in Texas earlier this year disrupted energy supply and sent numerous refineries offline, prompting profit warnings from companies including Exxon Mobil and Phillips 66. But the storm-related disruptions also boosted fuel prices and in turn, margins for refiners, with Valero's Q1 refining margin surging 33% sequentially to USD1.45 billion. The sector also benefited from rising fuel consumption as an easing of restrictions and the mass rollout of vaccines prompted more people to travel.

4. Evonik is investing in specialty lipids production for COVID-19 vaccines

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is investing in the short-term expansion of its specialty lipids production which are essential for mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, said the company. Commercial lipid quantities are to be produced at Evoniks Hanau and Dossenheim sites in Germany as early as the second half of 2021 as part of a strategic partnership with vaccine manufacturer BioNTech. Evonik is making an important contribution to increasing the supply security of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. "The pandemic requires decisive action," says Christian Kullmann, chairman of Evoniks executive board. "We are therefore doing everything possible to supply our partners with the critical lipids they need. At the same time, we are expanding our production capacity and competencies along the entire value chain."

5. Crude futures up on optimism over Europe reopening

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were higher in the mid-morning trade in Asia April 23, as optimism over the reopening of Europe lent support to the market, even as concerns remained on the progression of the pandemic in India, reported S&P Global. At 11:17 am Singapore time (0317 GMT), the ICE Brent June contract was up 27 cents/b (0.41%) from the April 22 settle at USD65.67/b, while the June NYMEX light sweet crude contract was 36 cents/b (0.59%) higher at USD61.79/b. Market analysts said that oil prices pared their loses in the week of April 18 due to an improved outlook for Europe. COVID-19 cases in major European economies have plateaued and countries such as Italy, Greece and France are on track to ease some of their mobility restrictions, according to media reports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, crude and gaz condensate, medicine, petrochemistry, adhesives, Evonik, Kraton Polymers, Valero, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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