• 2018 October 18 14:24

    Bunker prices may change irregular next week amid rising volatility on global fuel market, expert says

    The Bunker Review is contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange
     
    World oil indexes ended last week with the first weekly loss in a while under the combined weight of various bearish factors, and downward trend continues this week as well. Some analysts still believe we could witness Brent at US$100 a barrel before the year’s end, while others are more guarded in their predictions. The market still questions whether OPEC can continue to produce oil in sufficient quantity to offset what is sure to be growing production declines in Iran and Venezuela.

    MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO at the main world hubs), demonstrated slight downward evolution in the period of Oct.11 - Oct.18:
        
    380 HSFO - down from 486.36 to 478.29 USD/MT (-8.07)
    180 HSFO - down from 530.64 to 525.93 USD/MT (-4.71)
    MGO         - down from 752.00 to 737.43 USD/MT (-14.57)


    The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) lowered its oil demand growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 by 110,000 barrels a day (bpd), to 1.3 million bpd and 1.4 million bpd. The agency said that despite fresh U.S. sanctions set to take effect on Iran’s energy sector on November 5, global oil supply still remains robust. The IEA noted that global oil production increased by 1.4 million barrels per day on a net basis since May, which helped lead to an inventory build at an average rate of 0.5 million bpd during the second quarter and likely the third quarter as well. As a result of a sizable stockpile of oil in storage, and these higher levels of production, the oil market is not in danger of shortages at the moment. However, that has come at the expense of spare capacity, which is already down to only 2 percent of global demand.

    Diplomatic tensions escalated between Saudi Arabia and the West over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a prominent critic of Riyadh's policies. Blocking potential investments deals or military sales could be already part of the discussions in Washington, London or Brussels. Saudi Arabia has said it will conduct an investigation into the disappearance. Market is concerned that Saudi Arabia could use oil supply to retaliate against its critics.

    Market also assumes the U.S. trade war with China to continue escalating, perhaps at an even more accelerated rate, when U.S. sanctions officially hit Iran next month. The counter-Iran action, however, is likely to be undercut by China, which currently buys around one quarter of Iranian crude and will not be joining a unilateral cut-off of Iranian oil imports. On the other part, in August China’s purchases of oil from the U.S. fell to zero, after China had been the largest buyer of American crude in the first half of the year. U.S. producers are still finding buyers, but are having to look elsewhere. Meanwhile, Russia and Saudi Arabia are replacing the U.S. as the main suppliers to China.

    Meantime, the U.S. has decided to go ahead with a planned meeting between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jingping in November to see if they can overcome trade differences. The U.S. Treasury is expected conclude that China has not been manipulating its currency, which is seen as a small overture to China from Washington. Some American officials that oppose the trade war hope that the Trump-Xi meeting could lead to a breakthrough.

    South Korea in turn has stopped importing crude oil from Iran ahead of the U.S. sanctions. The country imported zero Iranian oil in September for the first time in six years. Since the start of 2018, South Korean imports of Iranian crude had fallen by 49.1 percent from 2017, as of the end of September, to a total 7.15 million tons. South Korea is a close ally of the United States, and it is no surprise the country opted for full compliance with Washington’s insistence.

    In the first two weeks of October, Iran’s oil exports averaged 1.3 million barrels per day, down from the 1.6 million bpd it averaged in September, and down from the recent peak of 2.5 million bpd in April. As per OPEC sources, Iran’s oil production in September plunged by 150,000 bpd from August to reach 3.447 million bpd last month. It might be considered as the evidence that Iran has been cutting oil production, although not at the fast rate at which its exports have been dropping over the past two months. Iran, for its part, claims a much smaller loss in its oil production: Tehran self-reported to OPEC that its crude oil production in September stood at 3.755 million bpd, down by 51,000 bpd from August. Among all OPEC members, Iran booked the steepest decline in production in September, followed by another slump in Venezuela, this time by 42,000 bpd to 1.197 million bpd.

    Other OPEC members, however, almost entirely compensated for the loss of production in Iran and Venezuela—OPEC’s total production increased by 132,000 bpd in September to 32.761 million bpd. OPEC’s biggest producer Saudi Arabia lifted output to 10.512 million bpd. Another big jump came from Libya: production rose by 103,000 bpd to average 1.053 million bpd. Angola and Nigeria also contributed to the cartel’s higher production. OPEC’s key partner in the deal with the non-OPEC nations—Russia hit a post-Soviet record at 11.54 million bpd in September, up by 150,000 bpd from August.

    The latest Drilling Productivity Report from the EIA shows strong gains expected for next month. The EIA predicts the U.S. will add 98,000 bpd in November compared to a month earlier.

    China’s independent refiners will probably increase their intake of foreign oil by 23.9 percent to 2.1 million bpd this month. The total for the month will come in at 9 million tons, which is up from 7.26 million tons for September and will also be driven by falling inventories that need filling up and the nearing end of the year: private refiners have to use their import quotas before the new year starts. Beijing announced it will raise by 42 percent the oil import quota for its non-state refiners for 2019 as new refinery capacity is planned to enter into operation next year. As a result, freight rates for Aframax tankers to Asia have reached their highest level so far this year.

    North and South Korea agreed on Oct.15 to begin reconnecting rail and road links, another step in an improving relationship. They also agreed to discuss late this month a plan to pursue a bid to co-host the 2032 Olympic Games, and to explore in November ways to restart webcam reunions and video exchanges for families separated by the Korean War. Besides two countries dis-cussed a military pact which includes the reinstatement of a joint military commission, the halting of military exercises, a no-fly zone near their border and the gradual removal of landmines and guard posts within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). The thaw in ties between the neighbour countries has sparked U.S. concerns that it may be outpacing negotiations to dismantle the North's nuclear and missile programs.

    We expect bunker prices will change irregular next week amid rising volatility brought about by the impending U.S. sanctions against Tehran and the uncertainty surrounding other producers’ capacity to increase production quickly enough to offset any supply loss.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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)




2019 January 23

18:27 Planning for 2020 IMO's sulphur cap has already started
18:13 Eagle Bulk receives commitment for a new credit facility totaling $208 million
18:02 Port of Gdansk (Poland) throughput in 2018 totaled 49.03 million tonnes, up 20.7% Y-o-Y
17:40 Andrei Malyarov elected as Chairman of Severnaya Verf shipyard's BoD
17:19 RWE files acquisition of renewables businesses of E.ON and innogy with European Commission
17:03 The Board of Directors of Fincantieri appoints a second General Manager
16:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Arkhangelsk come into effect on February 15
16:37 USCG interdicts smuggling boat with convicted criminals aboard off Florida
16:24 Regulatory issues related to operation of seaport infrastructure facilities to be discussed at the 2nd HES and Dredging Congress
16:08 First discharge of LPG from Ichthys LNG Project in Japan carried by “K” LINE’s VLGC “GRACE RIVER”
16:03 CMA CGM to launch its Med Pendulum Service (MPS)
15:46 Ice restrictions at the port of Vyborg (Leningrad Region) come into effect on February 6
15:33 Nakilat – Keppel welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
15:28 MHI Vestas achieves final turbine installation at Horns Reef 3
15:18 Rolls-Royce completes €57 million upgrade of Rauma thruster facility
15:03 NYK announces delivery of new coal carrier for Hokkaido Electric Power
14:33 Port of Oakland reports more ships than ever plugging into grid
14:20 Throughput of Port Vysotsky up 10.7% to 7.89 million tonnes in 2018
14:03 Kiel welcomes the TUI Cruises newbuilding
13:45 Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard lays down large freezing trawler of Project СТ-192
13:27 Coast Guard’s only heavy icebreaker arrives at Antarctica
13:02 Rotterdam as a circular hub for the raw materials transition
12:58 The Russian Federation accedes to passenger compensation treaty
12:51 New initiatives to strengthen Singapore as a global maritime hub announced
12:37 SCHOTTEL presents new mechanical hybrid propulsion solution
12:04 Port of Riga cooperates with Balarusian forest industry to further increase its timber cargo volumes
11:42 15 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 22-23
11:16 OSG exercises option for second 204,000 barrel barge at Gunderson Marine
10:55 Maritime Security & Offshore Patrol Week 2019 to be held for the first time ever in Dubai, UAE by IQPC Middle East
10:37 N-KOM welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
10:20 Responsibilities for implementation of state programmes of the Russian Federation divided between Deputy Prime Ministers
10:06 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $61.52, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.02% to $53.03
09:48 Aderco: Planning for 2020 has already started
09:43 Vympel Shipyard lays down yet another hydrographic vessel / buoy tender of Project 19910 for RF Navy
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,036 points

2019 January 22

18:25 Elengy prepares the sale of access capacities to the Fos Tonkin LNG terminal for the period 2021-2030
18:05 Monjasa steps up as the 2nd largest local bunker supplier in the Panama Canal in 2018
17:54 Relampago practices skills with UAE Navy ship
17:35 CalMac takes over the tiller at Argyll Ferries
17:05 NYK gets the highest-rated ‘A’ for Climate Change by CDP Survey
16:42 RF Government proposed candidates to Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port's BoD
16:23 Pilbara Ports Authority achieves a new record tonnage on a single tide at the Port of Port Hedland
15:56 Port of Rotterdam Authority and Rotterdam Port Promotion Council renew collaboration
15:46 ICTSI Subic hits milestone 200,000th TEU move
15:44 Growth seen in several sectors at ABP South Wales
15:28 KONTUR SPb ERT unit’s drills get thumbs up from Rosmorrechflot’s certification commission
15:22 First ship viaVerbrugge Terminals’ new permanent shipping line with South America docks in North Sea Port
15:00 Meyer Turku delivers New Mein Schiff 2 to TUI Cruises in Kiel
14:41 Jotun looks into expansion of ship coatings production in Russia
14:32 HHLA completes expansion of the container rail terminal Burchardkai
14:19 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:02 North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation opens the Port of Mackay for new bulk material trades
13:32 China Navigation to acquire the bulk shipping activities of Hamburg Süd
13:22 14 crewmembers of gas carriers which caught fire in the Kerch Strait confirmed dead, five missing
13:15 Fincantieri to build LCS 31 for US Navy
12:53 Gdynia, Poland to host Transport Week 2019 on March 5-7
12:31 MOL moves to establish 'Asahi MOL Tankers' for pool operation of MR Product Tankers
12:14 DFDS expands cooperation with Turkish Ekol Logistics
11:45 ABP invests £2.2 million in new agribulk terminal at Port of Ayr
11:17 BIMCO: only international action will stop increase in piracy