Sat, Aug 02, 2003 - Page 11 News List

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African crude cargoes bought

State-owned oil refiner Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) bought four cargoes of African crude oil to be loaded next month, a company official said.

Chinese Petroleum bought the Republic of Congo's Djeno crude oil and Angola's Nemba and Cabinda crude oils from three suppliers, said the official, who asked not to be named.

Trafigura Group, a Switzerland-based commodity trader, will supply the Djeno crude oil, while BP Plc sold a cargo of Cabinda crude oil. Sonangol, the state oil company of Angola, sold a cargo each of Nemba and Cabinda crude oils.

Chinese Petroleum typically buys crude oil in cargoes of 925,000 barrels to 950,000 barrels.

Chinese Petroleum bought Cabinda crude oil at a discount of about US$0.65, Djeno at a discount of about US$1.50 a barrel and Nemba at a discount of about US$0.20 a barrel to the price of Dated Brent.

Formosa boosting refining

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation's only private oil refiner, said it expects to boost refining to 71 percent of capacity in the second half the year and the company plans to list here as early as October.

Refining accounts for more than two-thirds of revenue at Formosa Petrochemical, which used about 62 percent of capacity in the first half, director Su Chi-yi (蘇啟邑) told reporters yesterday.

The company last year used about an average 50 percent of capacity at its plant, which can refine 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

The company is forecasting net income of NT$17.9 billion (US$520 million) this year, up from NT$11.4 billion last year, according to its statement on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Sales may rise to NT$223.4 billion from NT$169.4 billion.

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑 集團) owns about a third of Formosa Petrochemical. Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) holds 27 percent and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化纖) holds 28 percent.

Winbond narrows Q2 loss

Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) said its second- quarter loss narrowed to NT$790 million (US$23 million).

The company had a net loss of NT$2.1 billion a year earlier. Sales fell to NT$6.2 billion from NT$7.7 billion a year ago.

China Steel sales rise

China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest steelmaker, said sales last month rose 29 percent from a year earlier.

Sales rose to NT$11.4 billion (US$330 million) from NT$8.9 billion. Sales increased from NT$10.6 billion in June.

Low-cholesterol egg developed

A Taiwanese team has produced low-cholesterol eggs by feeding chickens with food blended with a natural cholesterol-lowering ingredient, it was reported yesterday in Taipei.

The development is the result of a four-year research project led by a professor at the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry at the National Taiwan University, on the application of yeast species contained in red-yeast rice, a Chinese-language newspaper reported.

The new yeast strain has been named "Monascus purpureus NTU803."

The university is planning to commercialize the eggs in cooperation with the Council of Agriculture, the paper said.

The eggs will be two to three times more expensive than ordinary ones, according to the paper.

NT dollar slips

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday lost ground against the US greenback, falling NT$0.093 to close at the day's high of NT$34.510 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

A total of US$446 million changed hands.

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