MABUX: Bunker market this morning, June 14
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) continued downward trend on June 13:
380 HSFO – USD/MT – 388.38 (-5.48)
180 HSFO – USD/MT – 428.10 (-5.19)
MGO – USD/MT – 638.56 (-5.84)
Meantime, world oil indexes rose on Jun.13 after a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes.
Brent for August settlement increased by $1.34 to $61.31 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for July delivery rose by $1.14 to $52.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of 9.03 to WTI. Gasoil for July stayed also added $6.00.
Today morning oil indexes continue slight upward evolution.
The charterer of the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair carrying naphtha said the vessel was suspected of being hit by a torpedo. The manager of the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous carrying methanol said it had been damaged as a result of a suspected attack but that its cargo was intact. Crews from both vessels have been evacuated. The incident followed last month's nearby sabotage attacks on vessels off the Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs. Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 multinational nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed sanctions, notably targeting Tehran's key oil exports. Iran, which has distanced itself from the previous attacks, has said it would not be cowed by what it called psychological warfare.
OPEC cut its forecast for growth in global oil demand due to escalating trade disputes and pointed to the risk of a further reduction, building a case for prolonged supply restraint in the rest of 2019. As per report, world oil demand will rise by 1.14 million barrels per day this year, 70,000 bpd less than previously expected. OPEC also said its output fell in May as U.S. sanctions on Iran added to the impact of the supply-cutting pact. Production by all 14 OPEC members dropped by 236,000 bpd to 29.88 million bpd.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 2.2 million barrels from the previous week. At 485.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 8% above the five year average for this time of year. The EIA also predicted U.S. oil production will rise by 1.4 million bpd this year, which although a 1-percent reduction from the May projection is still a sizeable rate of increase.
There is also persistent uncertainty about demand trends as the U.S.-Chinese trade war continues to escalate. The latest update here came from President Trump, who threatened tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods if China’s President Xi Jinping does not make an appearance at a scheduled bilateral meeting during the G20 summit later this month in China.
The Trump administration is considering secondary sanctions that would close off the ways for Venezuela to export its oil. However, more sanctions may have little effect since Venezuela is exporting to countries that would not comply. In particular, Russia is not going to stop trading oil with Venezuela as a result of official secondary sanctions, especially since Russia itself is being sanctioned by the US.
Prices for jet fuel for later this year and into 2020 are expected to rise due to new marine fuel regulations - as the need for lower-sulfur fuels in ships cuts into the available supply for similar distillates like diesel or jet fuel. However, the global abundance of light crude could help offset that. Light crudes produce a byproduct known as naphtha, normally used to make plastics, but refiners can shift their processes to use it for jet fuel production instead. The heavy bunker fuel used by ships will be outlawed, and complex refineries will instead refine crude further into lower-sulfur fuels for vessels. Refiners can only make a finite amount of lower-sulfur diesel that can meet the new IMO standards, and the shipping industry must compete with the airlines for those barrels, driving up prices.
We expect bunker prices may slightly rise today in a range of plus 2-6 USD. Further trend will be depended on the situation in the Strait of Hormus and evening statistics of oil rigs in the U.S.