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COVID-19 - News digest as of 02.02.2021

February 02/2021

1. Sasol flags rise in headline earnings per share, sees sequential improvement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sasol is expected to deliver a strong set of results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 (2021 financial half year), underpinned by a strong cash cost, working capital and capital expenditure performance despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a severe decline in crude oil prices and softer chemical product prices, said the company. In addition, our Lake Charles production was impacted by hurricanes experienced in the US Gulf Coast, resulting in lost production of approximately 300kt for the 2021 financial half year.

2. Sabic swings to profit, forecasts rise in 2021 volumes on improving outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic has reported net profit of 2.22 billion Saudi riyals (USD592 million) for the fourth quarter, swinging from a loss of SR890 million in the prior-year period, on sales that rose 4% year on year (YOY) to SR32.85 billion, reported Chemweek. The fourth-quarter net profit and revenue figures are also up sequentially 104% and 12%, respectively, on the companys third-quarter figures, due mainly to higher average selling prices, rising demand, and improved margins amid the wider economic recovery, says Sabic CEO Yousef al-Benyan.

3. ACI virtual summit 2021: Innovation key to unlocking post-pandemic potential for cleaning industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Innovation, along with sustainability and ensuring supply security, is the key to the future of the cleaning chemicals and products sector, reported Chemweek with reference to speakers at a session at the American Cleaning Institutes (ACI) 2021 virtual summit last week. The panel discussion on the future of cleaning focused the massive change wrought in the industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that change will be carried forward into the future. Consumer behavior shifted during the pandemic, obviously, with consumers purchasing cleaning products online and demand for many products, such as hand sanitizers and Clorox-branded sanitary wipes, skyrocketing. At the same time, demand for institutional and industrial cleaning products cratered. There was much higher demand for home and household care, but the institutional and industrial (I&I) cleaning segment was hit hard by the pandemic, Rui Zheng, head of marketing/home care and I&I at BASF said during the panel.

4. SK Innovation sees gradual recovery in refining margins in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Innovation Co Ltd, the owner of South Korea's top refiner SK Energy, said on Friday refining margins are expected to gradually recover this year on a pick-up in fuel demand as the impact of COVID-19 eases, according to Reuters. The company, which has been battered by weak margins during the global pandemic, posted an operating loss of 243 billion won (USD218 million) in the October-December quarter. It was the fourth straight quarterly operating loss, and compared with an operating profit of 88 billion won for the year-ago period.

5. Crude oil tests top of recent rage amid tightened supply outlooks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures settled near 11-month highs Feb. 1 as tightened supply outlooks overshadowed pandemic-related demand concerns, reported S&P Global. NYMEX March WTI settled USD1.35 higher at USD53.55/b and ICE April Brent climbed USD1.41 to USD56.45/b. Feb. 1 marked the start of Saudi Arabia's 1 million b/d voluntary crude production cuts, setting the stage for a much tighter supply outlook in the coming months. The start of the Saudi production cuts comes amid strong compliance from OPEC+ as a whole, underscoring bullish market sentiment and overshadowing near-term risks to the demand outlooks posed by lockdowns in Europe and Asia.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Sabic, Sasol, SK Corporation, COVID-19, Saudi Arabia, USA, South Korea.
Category:General News
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