• 2018 January 11 16:12

    Bunker prices may continue upward trend supported by geopolitics

    The Bunker Review is contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange

    World fuel indexes rallied in the first weeks of 2018, supported by increased geopolitical risk and severely cold weather in the eastern U.S. But the risk of the correction also rose. On the demand side, expectations are that global economic growth will support solid oil demand growth. On the supply side, Venezuela’s dire situation, possible new sanctions on Iran, and increased tension in the Middle East mostly with the Saudi-Iran issues and the Iraq-Kurdistan standoff may take more volumes off the market than OPEC+ plans.

    MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO at the main world hubs) demonstrated insignificant irregular changes in the period of Jan.04 – Jan.11:
        
    380 HSFO - down from 375.93 to 373,64 USD/MT (-2.29)
    180 HSFO - down from 416,57 to 413,86 USD/MT (-2.71)
    MGO         - up from 630.64 to 634.36 USD/MT       (+3.72)


    It is expected that the return of geopolitical risks to the fuel market will be the major driver of potentially higher prices this year. A recent round of protests in Iran rose concerns that violence will roll over onto prized oilfields, but the government has largely preempted this scenario. President Hassan Rouhani believes the protests were spurned by his orthodox political opponents who sought to deny Rouhani any progress on personal liberties on the domestic front. Anyway, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard officially put an end to over a week of deadly protests in the country on Jan.07, though social media apps continue to be banned.

    Meantime, in a few days U.S. President may try to re-impose sanctions on Iran, a step that will certainly lead to more tension between the two countries and could increase sup-porting factor to fuel prices. Meantime, the Trump administration won’t have the backing of the international community in its anti-Iranian campaign, which will make isolation much more difficult. Goldman Sachs predicted that unilateral sanctions from the U.S. could affect a few hundred thousand barrels per day from Iran, but without help from the rest of the world, the effort would not curtail nearly the same amount of oil as the last time around. Besides, the increased threat of renewed U.S. banking/USD sanctions on Iran alone is likely to boost Iran’s interest in the new Yuan oil contract, and China will benefit considerably from such developments.

    OPEC produced 32.47 million bpd in December, essentially flat from a month earlier. Some notable declines came from Libya (pipeline outage), Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, while Nigeria boosted output. OPEC’s compliance rate for December stood at 121 percent, the same as November.

    Libya’s oil revenues nearly tripled in 2017 to US$14 billion (from US$4.8 billion in 2016) as the country managed last year to gradually recover its oil production, reaching 1 million bpd for the first time since 2013. Libya’s oil revenues represented more than 86 percent of its total income last year. After the main fields and oil export terminals in Libya re-opened in 2017, production started to increase and, together with Nigeria’s recovering oil production and U.S. shale resurgence, was offsetting part of the OPEC cuts and depressed fuel prices for much of 2017.

    Iraq plans to start exporting of up to 60,000 barrels per day to Iran from its northern Kirkuk oil fields by the end of January. The deliveries are to be made under a swap agreement announced in December by both countries. The shipment of oil from Kirkuk has been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the oil fields from Kurdish forces in October.

    Venezuela’s oil output fell by another 100,000 bpd in December, dipping to just 1.7 million bpd, the lowest level since 2002. The drop off is steeper than prior monthly losses, and raise fears of an accelerated decline in 2018. That could lead to the cartel agreeing that re-stricting supply is no longer appropriate in a market that is significantly tighter than before the cuts started.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Short-Term Energy Outlook for January predicts world oil demand in 2018 is set to grow by an additional 100,000 barrels per day. The forecast also said that the 2019 demand figure would stand at 101.76 million bpd—an increase of 1.65 million bpd from the current year. As per EIA, U.S. crude oil production is forecast to average 10.3 million bpd in 2018, which would mark the highest annual average production in U.S. history, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million bpd set in 1970. EIA forecasts U.S. production to increase to an average of 10.8 million bpd in 2019 and to surpass 11 million bpd in November 2019. There is high probability, that the oil market balance will not be achieved before late in the second half of 2018, as U.S. shale and growing supply from other non-OPEC producers (not part of the OPEC+ pact) will offset some of the cartel and allies’ production cut.

    The Trump administration has proposed to open up vast new territory for offshore oil and gas drilling, going so far as to push drilling in areas currently off limits. They include the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The five-year plan for 2019-2024 would replace the Obama-era plan for 2017-2022, and it would include 47 possible auctions that encompass more than 90 percent of the U.S. outer continental shelf. The proposal will take time to finalize and would be vulnerable to legal challenges.

    Russia is going to start moving more Urals crude eastward right after the launch of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline extension, at a rate of 160,000 bpd. The overall increase of Russian crude shipments to China could be around 200,000 bpd. This means less oil for Europe, which is Russia’s number-one oil client. In 2016, Russia exported an average 3.7 million barrels daily to European countries, compared with less than a million bpd to China. The proportion could change drastically very soon, which may set up another round of rally for oil and fuel prices in Europe.

    Earnings for supertankers that move oil around the world fell by more than half in 2017, in large part because of the OPEC cuts. The number of cargoes from the Middle East to Asia reduced significantly at a time when a large number of newly-built vessels are being delivered. Earnings per day fell to $17,794 on average in 2017, the lowest figure since 2009. The poor conditions for the oil tanker industry are set to continue this year, with capacity expected to expand by another 4 percent at a time when OPEC will continue to hold back supply.

    In fact, market believes more of the same – inventory declines, some shale growth, a gradual increase in the oil price and eventually an end to the OPEC deal. But still a lot of uncertainty factors remain. We expect bunker prices may still continue slight upward trend in a near-term outlook.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    * MGO LS
    All prices stated in USD / Mton
    All time high Brent = $147.50 (July 11, 2008)
    All time high Light crude (WTI) = $147.27 (July 11, 2008)




2018 October 18

17:33 The first vessel in Klaveness Combination Carriers next generation of combination carriers named at New Yangzi Shipyard in China
17:17 Cargo transportation via Northern Sea Route can reach 17 million tonnes in 2018
17:03 Savannah container trade up 12 percent in September 2018
16:55 PGRK: sales strategy of Pavlovskoye deposit project is focused on foreign markets
16:33 SITC Logistics Group signs strategic cooperation agreement with Chengdu Port Investment Group and Guangzhou Port Logistics Group
16:03 NYK and Horiba to develop a new sulfur-in-oil analyzer for ships
15:34 Thames freight volume rises by 40% as Thames Vision strategy starts to bear fruit
15:33 Port of Rotterdam Authority and research institute TNO present results of the study at IMO meeting
15:31 Dublin Port volumes grow by 4.7% in first nine months. By year end, 36% growth in just six years
15:03 Chinese Lingang group invests 85 million euros in Zeebrugge inner port
14:47 Practical aspects of LNG bunkering to be discussed at the dedicated conference in Moscow on October 24
14:33 Nouryon, Tata Steel, and Port of Amsterdam partner to develop the largest green hydrogen cluster in Europe
14:24 Bunker prices may change irregular next week amid rising volatility on global fuel market, expert says
14:11 Tallink and Rauma marine constructions sign letter of intent for the construction of new shuttle ferry
14:02 VesselMan and DNV GL team up to offer optimized solution for dry-docking management
13:30 Project Forward paves the way for meeting IMO’s reduction on CO2 emissions
13:14 Equinor’s share saving plan allocates shares
13:02 Damen Shipyards Group and Abu Dhabi Ports sign contract for two Damen ASD Tugs 2411
12:52 Volumes transported by TransContainer’s flatcars and containers grew by 5.1% Y-o-Y to 1.38 million TEUs
12:43 Diana Shipping announces direct continuation of time charter contract for M/V Astarte with Glencore
12:40 Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf adds three new certifications
12:30 Vympel Shipyard launches third coast guard boat of Project 1496М1, Lamantin, for FSB Border Guard Service
12:11 Equinor focuses NCS portfolio through sale of non-core discovery
11:51 Securitas Technology BV installing cameras in the Port of Rotterdam
11:28 HII starts fabrication of amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA 8)
10:55 Seafarers’ mental health is focus of new training programme offered free to mariners worldwide
10:51 RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet detachment to conduct exercise East China Sea
10:13 Ulstein secures contract for design of Jones Act compliant SOV vessel
09:58 Brent Crude futures price up 0.07% to $79.99, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.1% to $67.61
09:39 Myanmar officials trained in forming maritime transport policy
09:14 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,554 points

2018 October 17

18:03 PGNiG and Venture Global LNG announce LNG Sales and Purchase Agreements for 2 million tonnes per year
17:46 The Freeport of Riga Authority continues to develop cooperation with China
17:22 Port Manatee enjoys record fiscal year with diverse growth
17:00 North Sea Port and Titan LNG successfully supply sea-going vessel with LNG fuel
16:55 33 LNG carriers and 8 gas condensate carriers with export cargo left port Sabetta in April-June 2018
16:24 Baku International Sea Trade Port launches two new tugboats
16:02 Hapag-Lloyd announces General Rate Increase for East Asia to Mexico, Central America, West Coast of South America, Caribbean & Panama trade
15:46 New BIMCO & IBIA Bunkering Guide available
15:23 NOVATEK and Fluxys plan to build an LNG terminal in Rostock
15:02 NYK develops original software that diagnoses combustion chamber problems
14:40 RF Government allocates RUB 8.4 billion for the Far East development
14:21 Scorpio Bulkers announces time charter-out agreements
14:03 CMA CGM implements Empty Repositioning Surcharge for exports from all Turkish ports
13:32 Ørsted contracts Van Oord for cable installation Borssele I & II
13:21 Throughput of Ukraine’s seaports in 9M’18 fell by 1.7% Y-o-Y to 95.9 million tonnes
13:04 CMA CGM to introduce new BAF on Asia-Africa trade
12:30 GTT and Dongsung Finetec sign a Memorandum of Understanding
12:02 Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and partners sign MoU for 3D printing facility and applications in maritime sector
11:53 Identifying barriers to cutting emissions through just-in-time operations
11:27 Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt joins V.Group
10:50 Brent Crude futures price down 0.09% to $81.34, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.06% to $71.88
10:42 CMA CGM to introduce new BAF on Europe-Africa trade
10:37 Damen Shipyards Galati hands over 74-metre fishery research vessel to Angolan government
10:27 Maritime Arctic Competence Center opens in Saint-Petersburg
09:42 KN invests in environmental protection measures
09:20 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,578 points

2018 October 16

18:33 Maersk Line announces new FAK rates from Mediterranean to West and Central Asia
18:03 ABS holds two seminars at the 58th Genoa International Boat Show
17:55 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 9M’18 grew by 5% Y-o-Y to 10.65 million tonnes