MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Oct 17
The Bunker Review was contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange (MABUX)
MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs) changed irregular on Oct.16:
380 HSFO - USD/MT – 368.07 (-4.85)
180 HSFO - USD/MT – 409.56 (-3.09)
MGO - USD/MT – 659.93 (+2.19)
Meantime, world oil indexes slightly rose on Oct.16, as investors pinned hopes on a potential Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union and on signals from OPEC and its allies that further supply curbs could be possible.
Brent for December settlement increased by $0.68 to $59.42 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose by $0.55 to $53.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $6.06 to WTI. Gasoil for November gained $4.25.
Today morning oil indexes demonstrate slight downward evolution.
The International Energy Agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries all see global oil inventories building in the first half of next year, as they almost unanimously cut their forecasts for oil demand growth for 2019 and 2020. The three agencies made also further cuts to their forecasts for oil demand growth this year in their latest reports and, for the first time, all of them now see global oil use increasing in 2019 by less than 1 million barrels a day compared with 2018. And those forecasts could still fall further. All three of the agencies also have cut their estimates for the first three quarters of the year, making particularly big reductions to their assessments of demand growth in the first half. Slowing economic growth will have a knock-on effect on oil demand, so it can be expected further downward revisions to the demand numbers next month.
The International Monetary Fund in turn slashed its global growth forecast once again, predicting economic growth will fall to its weakest rate since the financial crisis a decade ago. The IMF said that the world economy is in a “synchronized slowdown,” and will only expand by 3 percent this year. At one-point last year, the IMF forecasted 3.9 percent growth for 2019. Fund said in a statement that growth continues to be weakened by rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions. For the four largest economies – the U.S., China, the Eurozone and Japan – the IMF sees no improvement in their growth prospects over the next five years. Meanwhile, U.S. shale production has flatlined this year, ending years of explosive growth. The rig count has fallen sharply and companies are cutting drilling and spending. However, even with significant geopolitical risks to supplies in the Middle East and a slowing U.S. shale sector, oil and fuel prices have failed to rally so far.
Prices found some support from indications that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could announce further curbs to oil output in December. OPEC and its allies meet on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna to review output policy. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said there is an option for OPEC and its allies to implement deeper cuts in oil production. As per Barkindo, OPEC will do what it can with allied producers to sustain oil market stability beyond 2020, in a signal the producers will continue to cooperate. Russia and other producers have a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day until March 2020, but Russian officials have so far said it was too early to discuss additional output cuts.
Talks between Britain and the European Union to get a Brexit deal ahead of a summit of the bloc's leaders this week are underway, but it is still unclear if Britain could avoid postponing its departure, due on Oct. 31. Any deal that avoids a "hard" or no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and in turn oil growth and prices.
The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran. The operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda.” The attack highlights how President Donald Trump’s administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiraling into a broader conflict.
The global shipping industry has seen freight rates soar over the past few weeks as traders and shippers stay away from booking oil tankers owned by Chinese tanker companies that came under U.S. sanctions for dealing with oil from Iran. The cost of chartering supertankers to carry crude oil from the Middle East to Asia has soared and made oil procurement costs so high to the point of eroding refining profits for refiners. Complex refining margins in Singapore plunged to just US$2.91 per barrel at the end of last week, from a high of over US$10 a barrel in mid-September. The current refining margins in Asia are close to the lowest levels for this time of the year in five years.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a major crude oil inventory build of 10.45 million barrels for the week ending October 10—compared to analyst expectations of a much smaller 2.878-million-barrel build. Last week saw a large build crude oil inventories of 4.13 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA estimated that week that there had been a smaller build of 2.9 million barrels. After today’s inventory move, the net draw for the year is 15.27 million barrels for the 42-week reporting period so far, using API data. US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending October 4 increased to 12.6 million bpd, another new all-time high.
We expect bunker prices may turn into slight upward trend today in a range of plus 4-8 USD.