MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 24
The Bunker Review was contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange (MABUX)
MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, VLSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs demonstrated downward changes on February 21:
380 HSFO: USD/MT 367.18 (-0.49)
VLSFO: USD/MT 538.00 (0.00)
MGO: USD/MT 599.07 (-1.17)
Meantime, world oil indexes decreased on Feb.21 as OPEC+ decided not to move its March meeting forward while Russia indicated that it currently has no intentions to cut production further.
Brent for April settlement decreased by $0.81 to $58.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for April fell by $0.50 to $53.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $5.12 to WTI. Gasoil for March delivery lost $10.50.
Today morning oil indexes continue downward trend as concerns about the impact of the coronavirus grew, with the number of infections jumping in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Beijing, which already had a death toll of more than 2,000 and more than 45,000 infections from Covid-19, reported 118 new deaths and 1,109 new cases on Feb.21. South Korea's government put the country on high alert after the number of infections surged to over 700 with seven deaths, while in Italy, officials said a third person infected with the virus had died, as the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday. Iran said it had confirmed 43 cases and eight deaths, with most of the infections in the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on the Islamic Republic. In Japan, more than 80 people tested positive for the virus on Feb.21.
Factory activity in Japan also registered its steepest contraction in seven years in February, hurt by fallout from the outbreak.
The prospect of a falling out between the Saudi-led OPEC and Moscow, which represents the interests of Russia's state and independent oil producers, also weight on oil indexes. At an emergency meeting earlier in February, Russia rejected a Saudi push to deepen the alliance’s existing oil production curbs by 600,000 barrels a day.
Russia is in no rush to announce its position on additional cuts proposed by OPEC, as nothing urgent is happening in the oil market and there are two more weeks until the scheduled OPEC, non-OPEC ministerial meeting. At the same time, despite the partial recovery, oil prices are still far below the level many OPEC members need for their budgets to balance.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates — which collectively represent over half of OPEC’s production capacity — have decided to go it alone without Russia on the cuts. They are holding talks to discuss a possible joint output cut of as much as 300,000 bpd. OPEC and its allies are next scheduled to meet in Vienna on March 5-6 to decide on the future of their agreement on production cuts that expires in April.
Libya’s oil output continues to fall. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Feb.20 its crude output dropped to 122,424 barrels per day. Oil output in Libya has fallen sharply since Jan. 18 because of a blockade of ports and oil fields by groups loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar. NOC said in its statement that total losses because of the blockade exceeded $1.8 billion.
According Baker Hughes, the number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by one to 679 last week. That followed modest increases in each of the last two weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, also climbed by 1 to 791.
We expect bunker prices may fall today: 3-5 USD down for IFO, 7-10 USD down for MGO.