MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 17
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) demonstrated slight upward movement on May 16:
380 HSFO – USD/MT 411.14 (+0.14)
180 HSFO – USD/MT 457.93 (+0.29)
MGO – USD/MT 663.21 (+7.28)
Meantime, world oil indexes continued upward trend on May 16 amid tensions in the Middle East linked to stealth attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipelines.
Brent for July settlement increased by $0.85 to $72.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose by $0.85 to $62.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of 9.75 to WTI. Gasoil for June gained $14.75.
Today morning oil indexes does not have any firm trend so far.
International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report that it predicts the world will require very little extra oil from OPEC this year as booming U.S. output will offset falling exports from Iran and Venezuela. The IEA estimated growth in global oil demand to average 1.3 million barrels per day in 2019. In contrast, U.S. production of oil and condensates alone was forecast to rise by an average of 1.7 million bpd this year.
The IEA also predicted, that the contamination issue with Russian oil pipeline supply will impact European refinery runs to the tune of 250,000 bpd in the second quarter, which is below 2 percent of Europe’s refined oil product demand. Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic were said earlier this month to be releasing a total of 8 million barrels from their respective strategic petroleum reserves to keep refineries operating after the contaminated crude oil forced the shutdown of the pipeline. Normal deliveries via the pipeline are expected to resume in the second half of May. One consequence could be a loss of confidence in the quality of the crude flows and thus a search for alternative supplies.
A panel of OPEC and Russian ministers is going to meet this weekend in Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah to assess oil market conditions ahead of the full OPEC+ meeting in Vienna next month. While Saudi Arabia has not yet rushed to pump more to offset the expected loss of Iranian barrels, Iran warned earlier this month that it would respond to threats from fellow OPEC producers. It is expected that the next OPEC meeting could be very volatile as OPEC members don't see how Iran and Venezuela will vote in favor of a supply increase by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in order to replace their restricted exports due to US sanctions.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 5.4 million barrels last week, versus expectations for a decline of 800,000 barrels. In the previous week, crude inventories fell by almost 4 million barrels.
Boston Consulting Group said that the marine industry's January 2020 shift to using very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) to power ships worldwide will launch a one- to five-year disruption in oil and refined products markets. The changeover may increase profits for refiners, especially on the U.S. Gulf Coast, where plants are designed to process high-sulfur crudes. It could also benefit producers of shale oil, which has a lower sulfur content than other varieties. Study also said that the shortest period for the transition would be one year if the IMO were to postpone the start to 2022, allowing refiners and shippers more time to prepare for the change, which was first announced in 2016. The longest period – five years – would be expected if the world economy falls into recession and shippers widely do not comply with the regulation, narrowing the expected price spread between HSFO and VLSFO.
Venezuela has stopped upgrading crude oil as PDVSA finds itself without buyers in the wake of US sanctions. Venezuela hasn’t shut down its upgraders completely, instead, leaving some of them running without producing new oil in order to prevent damage to the facilities. Venezuela’s oil production fell to just 768,000 barrels per day in April 2019. As Venezuela’s oil exports plummet to new lows, it is finding itself short on storage space, sending yet another bullish signal to the market.
We expect bunker prices may continue firm upward evolution today in a range of plus 3-5 USD for IFO and plus 8-11 USD for MGO.