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COVID-19 - News digest as of 25.11.2020

November 25/2020

1. Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash discount narrows, cracks dip

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asia"s cash differentials for 10 ppm gasoil gained on Friday backed by a firmer deal in the physical market, while refining margins for the industrial fuel dipped amid concerns that near-term supplies would likely outweigh demand, reported Reuters. Cash differentials for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content were at a discount of 13 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes on Friday, compared with a 14-cent discount on Thursday. Refining profit margins, also known as cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil slipped 8 cents to USD4.97 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours. The cracks, however, have gained 6.7% this week. With surging COVID-19 cases and renewed lockdowns in several countries, the industrial and transportation demand will come under further pressure, trade sources said. The front-month time spread for 10 ppm gasoil, which has remained in a contango structure since early August, traded at a discount of 14 cents per barrel on Friday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

2. Crude settles higher as COVID-19 vaccine boosts outlooks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil prices settled at multimonth highs Nov. 23 as demand outlooks improved amid reports of progress on a third COVID-19 vaccine, reported S&P Global. NYMEX January WTI settled 64 cents higher at USD43.06/b, and ICE January Brent was up USD1.10 at USD46.06/b. Oil prices moved higher overnight after European drug maker AstraZeneca announced its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in late-stage trials. The news comes on the heels of the Pfizer and BioTech submitting a request Nov. 20 for Emergency Use Authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration. Those companies announced earlier in November their vaccine was more than 90% effective in late-stage trials.

3. S&B completes 300,000 bpd NGL fractionation project for Phillips 66

MOSCOW (MRC) -- S&B has announced the successful, on-time completion of two NGL fractionation plants for Phillips 66, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing. The plants have a combined capacity of 300,000 bpd, quadrupling the processing capacity at the Phillips 66 Sweeny Hub. �The successful completion of this project is due to our team and the partnership we created with Phillips 66 throughout the entire process,� said David Taylor, COO of S&B Engineers and Constructors. �Planning, designing, and building a large-scale plant, such as this, takes a significant amount of time and effort. Phillips 66 trusted our processes, procedures and workflows, which created an environment that allowed us all to succeed.� The on-time mechanical completion of this project has increased significance because peak construction occurred at a time when COVID-19 cases were rising in the United States.

4. Cabot beats estimates, sees strong auto and tire demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cabot Corp. (Boston, Massachusetts) reports a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of USD272 million, down from income of USD33 million in the year-ago period. Sales totaled USD659 million, down 20% year-over-year (YOY) from USD827 million, according to Chemweek. The loss includes USD310 million in after-tax charges, mainly related to the sale and asset impairment of the company�s lignite mine in Texas. Adjusted earnings per share came to USD0.68, down 35% YOY from USD1.05, but well ahead of the average analyst estimate of USD0.58 as compiled by Zacks Investment Research. �I am very pleased to see the strong sequential demand momentum in the fourth quarter largely driven by an improving global economy and steady improvement in the tire and automotive sectors,� says president and CEO Sean Keohane. �At the segment level, we experienced a significant sequential improvement in demand in reinforcement materials this quarter as customers increased their production levels. In performance chemicals, we saw a modest sequential improvement in volumes as key end markets begin to recover, and in purification solutions, we executed the next step in our transformation plan by selling our lignite mine in Marshall, Texas, and entering into a long-term supply agreement for activated carbon from ADES.�

5. Rocheleau and Nordson ramp up production to support massive buildup of COVID-Test

MOSCOW (MRC) --Rocheleau Tool & Die Co. has ordered dozens of Nordson Corporation�s Xaloy screws and barrels to equip blow molding machines for use by manufacturers of pipettes that are essential components of COVID-19 test procedures, said the company. International suppliers of products for medical testing have invested heavily to expand production of plastic laboratory consumables to meet global demand for COVID-19 testing. For the manufacture of LDPE pipettes, Rocheleau has encountered a massive demand for its blow molding systems. Rocheleau is equipping this machinery with Xaloy� components from Nordson, including bimetallic barrels with X-800 linings and Fusion� barrier screws.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, crude and gaz condensate, car components, medicine, petrochemistry, Cabot Corporation, Phillips 66, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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