• 2018 March 15 17:02

    MABUX: global bunker market still in 'wait-and-see' mood

    The Bunker Review is contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange

    World oil indexes changed irregular during the week. Another U.S. crude oil inventory increase as well as some fears about U.S. steel tariffs, and follow up possible protectionist measures, weighed on fuel sentiment. Meantime, news that Trump would allow some exceptions to the tariffs, his decision to replace Secretary of State Tillerson with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo (an outspoken critic of Iran), a strong U.S. jobs report and Libya’s temporary crude outage rendered momentum support to fuel prices.

    MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO at the main world hubs) demonstrated again insignificant irregular changes in the period of Mar.08 – Mar.15:
        
    380 HSFO - up from 352.57 to 354,93 USD/MT     (+2.36)
    180 HSFO - up from 392,57 to 395,00 USD/MT     (+2.43)
    MGO         - down from 603.36 to 602,29 USD/MT (-1.07)


    It is expected that over the next 25 years, the oil industry will need another $25 trillion in investment just to meet expected demand. The sentiment came after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the oil market will be short on supply in the 2020s without an in-crease in upstream spending. The conclusion is that the oil market could be well-supplied in the near-term because of U.S. shale, but faces supply risks in the early- to mid-2020s because of low upstream investment.

    Total OPEC production dropped to 32.14 million barrels per day in January, a 9-month low. That was largely the result of a sharp decline in output from Nigeria and Venezuela.

    Meantime, there is a possibility that OPEC’s oil production cut agreement could be closed rather soon due to new confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This time the dispute centers on exactly what price the cartel should be targeting. Saudi Arabia insisted that crude oil should be kept closer to US$70 a barrel—a level Brent touched briefly early this year—and Iran’s equal insistence is that US$60 is a better price for oil to trade at. The problem is that U.S. drillers have demonstrated that they could produce more at US$60 a barrel, so bringing prices closer to that level is not a guaranteed way to compensate U.S. oil production growth. This dis-agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran could see the cartel start unwinding the cuts as early as June, when it will meet with its partners to discuss progress and next steps.

    A labor strike at the Zawiya oil port in Libya delayed operations on Mar.12. The port was opened only a day later. The past week has also seen the signs of instability in the Libyan oil sector: crude oil production at Sharara was briefly suspended after the pipeline that feeds the crude from the field to the Zawiya terminal was blocked. Last month, protests also shut down most production from another field, El Feel (as of the start of this month it produced just 25,000 bpd, down from 75,000 bpd before oilfield guards began their protest). The civil war in the country undermined its oil industry. Libya produced 1.6 million barrels of crude daily before the war, but less than 1 million bpd currently – the factor which supports price indications at the moment.

    The U.S. President Donald Trump has officially imposed tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports which could spark inflation and provoke retaliation from U.S. trade partners. Major powers including the European Union and China have already warned that the Trump administration's new protectionist import tariffs could lead to retaliatory action, triggering a global trade war that could bring economic growth to a standstill. This would, by ex-tension, drag down oil consumption.

    Meanwhile, strong U.S. jobs data at the end of last week helped take the edge off market’s concerns about the potential outbreak of trade war between the United States and other major economies. U.S. nonfarm payrolls data which showed a significant 313,000 rise in jobs, but also revealed that annual growth in average hourly earnings had slowed to 2.6 percent after spiking in January.  This suggested that the world’s largest economy is experiencing a high growth without a corresponding spike in inflation.

    Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Mar.13 after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran, and replaced him with loyalist CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is an outspoken critic of Iran, who has called for a 2015 nuclear deal to be scrapped. Trump has threatened to withdraw from the accord between Iran and six world powers, signed before he took office, unless Congress and European allies fix it with a follow-up pact. The move increases the odds of confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, although Pompeo still needs to be confirmed by the Senate.

    Fuel markets were also mainly affected by soaring output from the U.S., which has risen by 23 percent since the middle of 2016, to 10.381 million barrels per day. Another 3-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs was reported in the U.S. last week as well. Despite the overall in-crease, the number of oil rigs in the United States decreased by 4 last week, for a total of 796 active oil wells in the US—a figure that is still 179 more rigs than this time last year.

    As a result, U.S. oil production has already surpassed that of top exporter Saudi Arabia and is expected to surpass that of top producer Russia by 2019. This would pose a significant challenge for the OPEC, which has been trying to prop up oil prices by cutting output. Unlike Middle East producers (where output is largely dictated by state-owned oil companies), U.S. producers drill and sell purely based on economics. It is expected, that the correlation between the U.S. oil production and the oil prices will remain considerable.

    One more factor: hedge funds have resumed liquidating their bullish long positions in crude oil and refined fuels amid more signs that the earlier rally in prices has slowed down.  The reduction largely reversed an increase of 68 million barrels the previous week. Meantime, long positions still outnumbered short positions by a ratio of 10:1, down from a peak of almost 12:1 in January. With so many long positions already established oil prices have struggled to rise further in recent weeks. Instead the market has seen a slow but steady liquidation with existing longs cut by a total of almost 250 million barrels since Jan. 23. It remains uncertain whether this is merely a pause and the price rally will resume shortly, or whether it marks a temporary peak, with more liquidation and price falls to come.

    We expect bunker prices will continue irregular changes 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 September 20

18:02 SITC holds naming & delivery ceremony for M/V “SITC TOYOHASHI”
17:54 Sovcomflot participates in Eastern Economic Forum’s business programme
17:30 Kurt Bodewig appointed as new European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea
17:07 Port of Singapore holds annual multi-agency ferry emergency exercise
16:46 IAPH regional conference sets pan-African ports agenda
16:25 UAE to host Dubai Marine Insurance Conference 2018 on November 20-21
16:07 Governments of New Zealand and Australian announce fumigation requirement for import cargos
15:48 Sovcomflot is a Partner of the Second Conference “LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia”
15:32 NYK product tanker rescues 28 fishermen off the coast of Colombia
15:04 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to West Africa
14:56 Admiralteiskie Verfi launches the Kronshtadt, diesel-electric submarine of Project 677
14:32 DNV GL releases autonomous and remotely operated ship guideline (UPDATE)
14:04 Port of Long Beach awarded $4.2 mln security grant
13:32 ABS supports innovative yacht design with dedicated guidance notes and software
13:20 Finnish Transport Agency: international seaborne transport volumes show significant boost
13:04 Port of Antwerp works on structural solutions to improve mobility
12:43 Arctic group of RF Navy’s Northern Fleet enters Chukchi Sea through Bering Strait
12:30 Wison receives AiP from LR for 300MW FSRP
12:04 Port of Rotterdam and Rönesans Holding sign agreement for petrochemical industrial zone in Turkey
11:49 IMO to start consideration of legal framework for low-flashpoint diesel
11:30 Gulftainer signs 50-year, $600 million concession to operate and expand Port of Wilmington in Delaware, USA
11:18 Fuel oil prices are going up the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:04 Green Corridor JIP delivers innovative bulk carrier designs for a low emissions future
10:55 IMO takes important step to facilitate use of methanol
10:30 HHI receives AiP from LR for a VLGC design capable of using LPG as fuel
10:19 Brent Crude futures price up 0.3% to $79.64, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.61% to $71.2
10:03 OpenIJ starts sinking operation of the lock gate chamber at the Port of Amsterdam
09:50 Passenger Port of Saint-Petersburg ("Marine Façade") welcomed MSC Meraviglia
09:34 CMA CGM announces GRR from India to East Africa
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,373 points
09:03 Port of Rotterdam organises information meeting about the replacement of Maaskade quay wall
08:34 DNV GL launches revised design standard and new certification guideline for floating wind turbines
08:04 ABS issues AIP for Jiangnan’s LNG Jumbo

2018 September 19

18:10 Significant reserve growth confirmed at the Utrenneye field
17:53 Green Corridor JIP delivers innovative bulk carrier designs for a low emissions future
17:35 Rolls-Royce launches new range of powerful medium speed V-Engines
17:05 Sembcorp Marine, ABS and A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing team up to develop new gas technologies in offshore, marine and energy sectors
16:35 Valenciaport presents its cruise offer in Lisbon under the slogan “Valencia dresses in green”
16:16 Vladimir Panchenko dredger built for Lena Basin is put into operation
16:04 MOL launches new large-scale ferry Sunflower Kirishima
15:47 Freeport of Riga Authority begins active cooperation with its Chinese partners
15:23 Vancouver Fraser Port Authority joins leading port authorities in climate action program
15:04 DFDS to invest DKK 300m to install scrubbers on 12 freight ferries deployed on freight routes in the Mediterranean
14:50 Maersk to combine Damco’s Supply Chain Services and Maersk Line’s Ocean Product on January 1st, 2019
14:22 NOVATEK and Fluxys apply for establishment of a joint venture in Rostock, Germany
14:08 Stevedoring unions announce a strike in the ports of Leixoes and Lisbon
13:08 Noble Group completes the sale of the Panacore vessels
12:47 Bunker prices are going down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
12:29 Nevsky Shipyard took part in II International Fishery Forum and Expo 2018
12:07 ABS holds seminar series exploring gas as marine fuel
11:50 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company has it towing and supply vessel Nercha overhauled at Bibiheybat shipyard
11:25 Klaipeda Seaport takes part in exhibition and conference in Kazakhstan
11:07 San Pedro Bay Ports ready cleaner truck rules for Oct. 1 2018
10:46 Record number of ships registered at Freeport of Riga in August
10:28 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 4.3% to 13.15 million TEUs in Jan-Aug’18
10:07 Austal awarded littoral combat ships 32 & 34
09:43 Brent Crude futures price down 0.06% to $78.98, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.03% to $69.57
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,356 points
09:05 Port of Oakland to add electric trucks thanks to state grant
08:07 GTT signs a Technical Assistance and License agreement with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard