• 2018 January 18 16:02

    MABUX: Bunker prices wait for the new market catalysts

    The Bunker Review is contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange

    Last week did not bring any firm trend for world fuel indexes. A production-cutting pact between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers has given a strong support to oil prices, with both benchmarks hitting levels not seen since December 2014. Growing signs of a tightening market after a three-year rout have bolstered confidence that fuel prices can be sustained near current levels. Meantime, the further trend’s forecast is rather contradictive: some see more room on the upside with outages in key oil producing countries, strong demand expected this year and ongoing declines in inventories. But others believe the rally has gone too far and there will be a reaction in U.S. shale very soon.

    MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO at the main world hubs) went slightly down in the period of Jan.12 – Jan.18:
        
    380 HSFO - down from 373.14 to 371,93 USD/MT (-1.21)
    180 HSFO - down from 413,64 to 412,36 USD/MT (-1.28)
    MGO         - down from 635.21 to 634.79 USD/MT (-0.42)


    There is a variety of scenarios on how the deal of the OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) might come to an end, featuring civil unrest in Venezuela and Iran that may lead to supply disruptions; Russia pulling out of the pact in June; OPEC members and other parties to the deal starting-or continuing-to cheat; and oil prices rising too high.

    At the moment Russia may be already on its way out of the OPEC output reduction deal. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak may discuss the country’s potential exit from the pact in Oman next week. As per Russia, the market is becoming balanced and the surplus is decreasing, but the market is not completely balanced yet. It needs to be monitored before the decision is made.

    In addition to the OPEC+ pact, fuel prices have found support from eight consecutive weeks of U.S. crude inventory drops. U.S. commercial crude stocks fell by almost 5 million barrels in the week to Jan. 5, to 419.5 million barrels. That was slightly below the five-year average of just over 420 million barrels, the target for OPEC and others cutting output.

    Despite the oil price rise, US crude oil production dipped last week. It had been on a steady up-ward trajectory during Q4 2017. But the first week of 2018 saw production in the United States slipping from 9.782 million bpd in the last week of 2017, down to 9.492 million bpd.  The number of active oil and gas rigs on the contrary rose last week, increasing by 15 total rigs, bringing the total rigs to 939, which is an addition of 280 rigs year over year. The number of oil rigs in the US increased by 10 and stands at 752 versus 522 a year ago.

    The EIA sharply revised up its forecast for U.S. oil production this year and next, predicting aver-age output of 10.3 million bpd in 2017 (up nearly 300,000 bpd from last month’s forecast) and 10.8 million bpd in 2019. The EIA predicts that by November 2019 the U.S. could hit 11 million bpd, surpassing Russia as the world’s largest producer. The strength of U.S. shale is one of the main pressure factors on the fuel market, but it remains to be seen if shale drillers can achieve such high production levels.

    U.S. President Donald Trump extended sanctions relief granted to Iran under its 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers. However, Trump, who has vowed to scrap the pact, was expected to give the U.S. Congress and European allies a deadline for improving it. Without improvements, Trump would renew his threat to withdraw from the agreement. Iran in turn said its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. It has also said it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it, but will decline the deal if Washington pulls out. The U.S. Congress requires the president to decide periodically whether to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal and issue a waiver to allow U.S sanctions to remain suspended.  The forecasts have projected U.S. sanctions could threaten several hundred thousand barrels per day of Iranian oil production, but unilateral action from Washington won’t be as effective as the coordinated international sanctions from years ago.

    China imported 12 percent less crude oil in December than in November, when crude imports had hit a record high, sparking immediate concern about demand from one of the world’s top consumers. The record-high November oil shipments to China were stockpiled, and used by refiners during the last month of the year. Despite the December drop, for full-2017, crude oil import figures reveal a 10.1-percent increase from 2016, at 8.43 million barrels daily. Besides, the first lot of oil import quotas issued by the government last month (121.32 million tons) is also high enough to suggest a rebound in oil imports this year as quotas were 75 percent higher than the first allocations for 2017. China is now the world’s biggest oil importer, overtaking the United States for the first time ever.

    India’s oil demand in turn grew at its slowest pace in four years in 2017 at only 2.3 percent. Slower car sales, new taxes, and a campaign by the central bank to remove certain currency notes hit retail and wholesale markets – these factors weighed on India’s fuel consumption. India has long been billed as one of the most important growth markets for global fuel demand, but it continues to lag behind expectations.

    In Colombia, the National Liberation Army (ELN) is reported to be restarting its militancy against state forces and oil infrastructure after the end of a critical ceasefire to facilitate talks that would end 53 years of war. As a result, Transandino pipeline stopped operating on Jan. 14 after a bomb planted by ELN rebels caused a crude spill into a nearby river. 20% of government revenues in Colombia come from the exploration, production, and taxation of petroleum products in the country, but three years of low oil prices have lowered that proportion to almost zero.

    Meantime, oil production in Venezuela has jumped to nearly 1.9 million barrels per day, suggesting the Latin American nation’s output recovers despite a lack of access to global credit markets. Venezuela’s November production was 1.834 million bpd. However, U.S. newest sanctions prevent Venezuelan oil Companies from repatriating any earnings from the U.S. They also make it impossible to access American credit markets, forcing Venezuela to seek deals with Russia and China to refinance crippling amounts of debt.

    The start of 2018 was not so active on global fuel market while the fuel indexes still remained underpinned by tightening supply and strong global demand. We expect bunker fuel prices may stay steady next week.



     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    * 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 February 24

17:06 HHLA: First 20,000 TEU container ship at Tollerort
17:02 Jumbo completes project for the Arkona offshore wind farm

2018 February 22

18:25 European Commission fines maritime car carriers, parts suppliers in three separate cartel settlements
18:11 Port of Gdansk expects multimilloin investments
17:51 Port of St. Petersburg bunker prices edge up (graph)
17:35 Russia’s antitrust regulator gives Transneft green light on Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port deal
17:02 Maersk Line announces an increase in FAK rates from Far East to North Europe
16:02 The tall ship that harnesses the wind to recharge its batteries
15:29 Port of Tallinn opens passenger terminal A renovated arrivals hall
15:13 MABUX: Bunker market may continue moderate upward evolution next week
15:02 GoodBulk announces delivery of two Capesize vessels
14:40 New product tanker of RTS27M series Balt Flot 20 takes to the water at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard
14:02 European Commission issues decision concerning the Violation of European Antitrust Law
13:35 Vostochny Port JSC picks contractors for coal transfer stations Phase 3 project
13:32 HMM reaches over 10,000 TEU in terms of volume of its US Premium Service
13:02 Boskalis receives EUR 300 million Letter of Award for Singapore Finger Pier 3 development
12:24 Northwest Seaport Alliance container volumes decline in January
12:17 Bunker prices in Far East seaports close the week flat
12:12 Rolls-Royce to supply propellers and mission bay technology for UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship
10:41 Crude oil futures prices fell 0.81% to $64,89 in London, in New York – by 1.07% to $61,02
10:32 Waterborne freight in Ukraine rose in January by 71.7% to 300,000 tonnes
10:05 CMA CGM announces GRR from the U.A.E. to West Africa
09:18 Waterborne passenger traffic in Ukraine plummets 44.4% in January
09:13 Baltic Dry Index gains to 1146 points
09:05 Konecranes strengthens its bulk handling presence in Japan with a Model 4 mobile harbor crane
08:17 World port accelerator programme PortXL to be launched in Singapore

2018 February 21

19:06 Russia’s State Duma set to change tariff policy to lend a helping hand to inland water transport
18:07 ONE, OOCL and SACO Shipping use booking tool eBooking
17:43 Renovated Stena Line Terminal at Europoort starts operation
17:06 Project to map ocean floor by 2030 now operational
16:52 Rosterminalugol export coal terminal handles 3-millionth tonne YTD
16:22 Zelenodolsk Shipyard to host keel-laying of 11th Buyan-M class corvette, Feb. 23
15:03 Launching of RST27M Balt Flot 20 at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard slated for Feb. 22
14:14 NGO Shipbreaking Platform publishes list of ships dismantled worldwide in 2017
13:18 ATOMFLOT says Russia needs nine more icebreakers for the Northern Sea Route by 2025
13:01 Clarksons Platou collaborates with Maersk Line to provide shipping services in Egypt
12:43 Big Port of St. Petersburg imposes ice restrictions in the harbour effective as of March 7, 2018
12:31 Castellammare Di Stabia starts slipway works on the multipurpose amphibious unit
12:10 Rosterminalugol transferred over RUB 1.5bn of taxes to different budgets
12:01 Panama Canal hosts Cheniere Energy to discuss LNG’s Future at the waterway
11:25 MOL car carrier rescues castaways in the North Atlantic Ocean
10:53 Crude oil futures prices edge down 0.8% to $64,73 in London and 1% to $61,17 in New York
10:46 Sovcomflot and Shell ink time-charter agreements for Aframax LNG-powered duo
10:35 Vostochny Port obtains ISO 14001:2015 certificate
09:48 Port of St. Petersburg bunker prices move upward
09:26 Baltic Dry Index rises 2.76% to 1117 points

2018 February 20

18:37 Time is running out to register for the Dangerous Goods: New Requirements for Transportation Conference, March 1, 2018
18:31 Russian association of fishery businesses call to revise a 'fishing quotas per a keel' terms
18:06 AVANZA completes a successful trial with Daikin Reefer
17:38 The Maritime CIO Forume Cyprus 2018 to be held in Limassol, March 27
17:03 DNV GL issues over 50,000 electronic certificates
16:55 RIMS secured a further class approval from Korean Register of Shipping for the use of drones during surveys
16:39 Taganrog Commercial Sea Port spent $156 000 on environment protection in 2017
16:34 Wärtsilä and Maersk Drilling create a joint 25-year strategy for thruster services to increase uptime and reduce costs
16:04 Post-Brexit port health border disruption still a major concern for British ports
15:34 Goltens teams up with Yara Marine on SOx scrubbers
15:21 Taganrog Sea Commercial Port earmarked $74,4 to support social programmes in 2017
15:04 US Navy awards concept design contract to Fincantieri to evolve FREMM into FFG(X)
14:32 Port of Marseille Fos traffic up 8% in 2017
14:02 The largest vessel enters Busan Port since its opening