• 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 July 21

13:18 High-tech automotive quality control measures installed at the Port of Southapmton
11:12 Van Oord to install innovative suction bucket foundations at Deutsche Bucht Offshore Wind Farm

2018 July 20

18:28 Fincantieri Marinette Marine: The US Gov't awards contract within the MMSC Programme for Saudi Arabia
18:12 Management of Palmali to pay backdated wages to crews of four vessels staying off Rostov-on-Don port
18:10 CMA CGM: new FAK rates from Asia to Pakistan - India - Sri Lanka
17:58 Crowley takes delivery of first LNG-powered ConRo ship serving Puerto Rico
16:38 Equinor UK extends Safe Boreas contract by 1 month at Marinerd
16:07 MOL hosts tour of cutting-edge car carrier on Marine Day for 360 students and families
15:21 Historical crab quota distribution principle is not effective enough – Rosrybolovstvo
15:02 Wärtsilä's BWMS successfully tested for global compliance
14:27 BP ETAP hub celebrates 20 years of production
14:02 High-tech automotive quality control measures installed at the Port of Southampton
13:29 Seadrill receives ABS MPD™ notation enabling safer deepwater drilling
13:00 Severnaya Verf lays down a longline factory vessel Gandvik-1 for fishing fleet of Karelia
12:17 Icebreaking LNG carrier "Vladimir Rusanov" first call ceremony at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal
12:16 GD NASSCO shipyard gets DDG 76 drydocking contract
11:48 HELCOM shares its insights on marine litter and management of sea areas
11:23 Wärtsilä's half year financial report January-June 2018
11:02 Bunker prices continue going down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
10:39 Gazprom to revive implementation of Vladivostok LNG and Shtokmanovsky projects
10:16 MPC Container Ships to acquire 1,740teu boxship
09:55 Brent Crude futures price up 0.28% to $72.78, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.1% to $68.33
09:18 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,657 points

2018 July 19

18:23 MPA and Port of Rotterdam Authority to continue cooperation in information exchange and R&D
18:14 DP World signs agreement to boost international trade
17:55 NIBULON launched second T3500 Project tug
17:32 IMO supports spill preparedness in the Northwest Pacific
17:10 ABB turbochargers support optimal performance and fuel efficiency for one of the world’s largest container ships
16:48 Escort vessel Yaroslav Mudriy of RF Navy’s Baltic Fleet leaves port of Cyprus
16:21 Ocean Alliance - CMA CGM to reshuffle its CIMEX 6 service
15:59 Blagoveshchensk shipyard launched hydrographic vessel Aleksandr Rogotsky built for RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet
15:26 Austal USA opens new San Diego operations office
15:04 MABUX says high volatility remains in global bunker market
14:45 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 22.2 million tonnes of cargo in 6M'18, up 7.6% Y-o-Y
14:27 FSB Border Service explains its position as regards vessels owned by foreign entities and used by Russian fishermen
14:09 New CMA CGM's FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
14:02 The PORT OF KIEL invests in cargo handling and environmental technology
13:43 Season of icebreaker assistance in water area of port Sabetta is over from July 20
13:28 Coast Guard offloads approximately 8.5 tons of cocaine
13:04 CMA CGM: FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
12:55 NOVATEK shipped first LNG cargos to China
12:36 ILCA, Port of Amsterdam to host Chem Together meeting, Sept. 11
12:10 Fuel oil prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:42 State Duma approves Russian ships’ multiple crossings of State Border through notification procedure
11:19 CMA CGM to apply FAK rates for Asia-North Africa trades
10:54 Canada’s Davie Shipbuilding delivered first LNG-powered ferry to be built in North America
10:35 NYK establishes logistics JV for finished cars using automobile freight trains in India
10:03 New Port of Hamburg “Connection Compass 2018/19” has arrived
09:46 Brent Crude futures price down 0.18% to $72.77, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.12% to $67.67
09:14 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,688 points

2018 July 18

18:31 Naval Group posts H1 2018 performance results
18:00 BC Ferries announces sponsorship of the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre
17:36 DP World announces closing of Continental Warehousing Corporation (India) transaction
17:12 Marine Technics to participate in International Far East Maritime Show-2018
16:44 Oleg Bukin elected as Chairman of Tuapse Commercial Seaport BoD
16:23 Transocean and Chevron Australia ink 11-well contract
15:45 Stena Bulk positions itself in crude oil
15:19 Transocean announces 13-well contract for Transocean 712
14:57 AGCS issued Safety & Shipping Review 2018
14:43 Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingör kicks off the holiday traffic season without delay