Despite the economic downturn throughout the world due to the quarantine measures, SOCAR Polymer managed to boost its exports and keep up production in 2020, with the third quarter of the year dedicated primarily to preventive maintenance and upgrading activities during the planned shutdown period.
The production rate in early 2020 had increased before the planned shutdown period. Comparison of production totals in the first 7 months of 2019 against the same period of 2020 showed an 83% increase in the production rate. Production numbers fluctuated in the second half of 2020 due to the implementation of planned shutdown activities.
In the first half of 2020, SOCAR Polymer sold more polymers than in the entirety of 2019. In the first half of 2020, SOCAR Polymer’s exports doubled as compared to the same period of 2019. Total sales in 2020 surpassed last year’s sales by 65%. Remarkably, the highest sales rate registered since the start of production has been in June 2020.
In 2020, SOCAR Polymer produced about 139,000 tons of PP and HDPE, having surpassed the previous year’s results by 39%. In 2020, there has been a slight increase (by 7%) in PP production and a large (by 184%) increase in HDPE production rate as compared to 2019.
87.6% of total production was exported. The top-buyers of SOCAR Polymer’s products in 2020 have been Turkey, Russia, and China. For most of the year 2020, SOCAR Polymer remained the biggest importer of Homopolymer PP to Russia, supplying around 40-60% of RF’s market demand for such grades. SOCAR Polymer exports both by highway transport, by railway and by sea. This July, delivery of BOPP to Kazakhstan was carried out by the ADY Express railways using a new route going through Russia.
Supplying of local businesses with polymer feedstock was a priority in 2020, especially so in the conditions of limited cross-border trade. The local sales’ share in total sales kept steadily rising from January through September. In Q4, domestic sales made up 16.5% of total sales. Overall, local sales tripled in 2020 as compared to 2019. So, the local sales to exports ratio changed from 1:16 (in 2019) to 1:7 (end of 2020). Top local buyers in 2020 have been the Meqa-Plastik LLC, Ram BNT Ltd, and Azertexnolayn LLC companies.