MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 13
The Bunker Review was contributed by Marine Bunker Exchange
MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs) did not have any firm trend on May 10:
380 HSFO - USD/MT - 414.43 (-0.07)
180 HSFO - USD/MT - 461.64 (0.00)
MGO - USD/MT - 655.29 (-0.71)
Meantime, world oil indexes were mostly steady on May 10, ending last week slightly lower as trade tensions stoked by a U.S. move to hike tariffs on Chinese goods overshadowed tightened global supplies and expectations of rising U.S. refining demand.
Brent for July settlement increased by $0.23 to $70.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for June delivery declined by $0.04 to $61.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of 8.96 to WTI. Gasoil for May unchanged: $632.25.
Today morning oil indexes turned into slight downward trend.
Brent crude futures have opened up a steep backwardation, evidence that the physical market for crude is tightening. Yet, spot prices have fallen in the last two weeks.
The U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on May 10, while leaving open the possibility that trade talks could continue. Trump also began the process of new tariffs on another $325 billion in Chinese imports. China vowed to implement retaliatory measures. Growing trade tensions between the world’s two largest oil consumers could affect oil and fuel demand. The United States and China together accounted for 34% of global oil consumption in the first quarter of 2019.
Investors also focused on tightened supplies following OPEC-led production cuts since the start of the year. Investors believe the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its producer allies will extend the six-month output-cut agreement in coming weeks. Meantime, Saudi Arabia is holding firm on oil exports despite the tightening market. Saudi oil exports are expected to remain below 7 million bpd in June, with production also below the OPEC+ ceiling.
The U.S.-Iran conflict escalated last week, with rhetoric on both sides growing more heated. Iran said it would withdraw from parts of the nuclear deal, and top U.S. officials hinted at a military response. Washington also imposed sanctions on metals exports from Iran. Iran warned the EU to step up incentives or else it will fully withdraw from the 2015 accord. Meanwhile, Iran’s oil exports are plunging.
The U.S. Maritime Administration issued in turn a maritime advisory warning that since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.
The number of active oil and gas rigs fell again in the United States last week after a string of losses in the weeks prior, keeping the overall rig count well below year-ago levels for a fourth week in a row. The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the United States fell by 2, with the number of active oil rigs falling 2 to reach 805 and the number of gas rigs holding steady at 183. The combined oil and gas rig count is down 57 year on year. While the United States has seen a significant drop in the number of active oil and gas rigs, US oil production continues to rise. US crude oil production fell slightly for week ending May 3, standing at 12.2 million barrels, easing off last week’s all-time high of 12.3 million barrels per day.
We expect bunker prices will not have any firm trend today and may change irregular in a range of plus-minus 1-3 USD.