MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 21
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) rose slightly on February 20:
380 HSFO: USD/MT 367.67 (+3.06)
VLSFO: USD/MT 538.00 (+5.00)
MGO: USD/MT 600.24 (+5.50)
Meantime, world oil indexes rose slightly on Feb.20 after the U.S. government reported a much smaller-than-anticipated rise in crude stocks, but gains were capped by worries about the spread of Coronavirus outside China.
Brent for April settlement increased by $0.19 to $59.31 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for April rose by $0.59 to $53.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $5.43 to WTI. Gasoil for March delivery gained $2.00.
Today morning global oil indexes fell amid concerns over fuel demand as the coronavirus epidemic spread further beyond China.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 400 thousand barrels from the previous week. At 442.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2% below the five year average for this time of year. A day before its weekly petroleum status report, the EIA revised down its forecast for global oil demand for this year, adding pressure to prices. It was not a small revision, either: at 378,000 bpd it beats both OPEC’s and the International Energy Agency’s downward demand outlook revisions.
The coronavirus outbreak pressured international oil prices significantly and the pressure is yet to start going away despite tentative suggestions that the rate of infection may have peaked and quarantines were ending. This could lead to more travel and some improvement in fuel demand, but the improvement will be slow in coming as market is extra cautious, with millions of people working from home. Meantime, on Feb.20 South Korean authorities confirmed 52 new coronavirus infections. The streets of Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city, were deserted on Feb.20 after dozens of people there went down with the pathogen in what authorities described as a “super-spreading” event.
Chinese oil refiners have cut their daily run rates further, to around 10 million bpd, which is the lowest since 2014. Refiners began lowering their run runs in response to the slump in demand for oil products because of the coronavirus outbreak. State refiners had cut their processing rates by some 10 percent or 940,000 bpd but independent refiners had cut even deeper, at around 25 percent of what they processed before the outbreak.
Russia’s biggest oil producer and largest taxpayer, Rosneft, reported a net income for 2019 that was 29 percent higher on the year, despite market uncertainties and negative factors such as the continued production cuts of the OPEC+ coalition and the oil contamination crisis last spring. Positive results is possible due to higher operating income and lower financial and other expenses. Rosneft’s 2019 results release came a day after the United States slapped sanctions on one of its subsidiaries, Rosneft Trading, for helping Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro to sell crude oil.
Turkey said Kurdish fighters in Syria are smuggling oil out of the war-torn country in partnership with the U.S. As per statement, oil from Syria’s oil-rich Deir Ezzor region is being smuggled out of the country onto Iraq and from Iraq’s port of Basra it is being shipped to the United States. Authorities from Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Egypt have also taken samples of that oil. After a surprise announcement of pulling the U.S. troops out of Syria in October last year, U.S. President Donald Trump said that the United States would protect Syrian oil fields from ISIS. At the end of last year, it was reported that the United States had moved more equipment from Iraq into Syria to boost the protection of the oil and gas fields in eastern Syria.
Conflict in Libya that has led to a blockade of its ports and oilfields shows no signs of a resolution. The head of Libya’s internationally recognised government Fayez al-Serraj dashed hopes of reviving peace negotiations after the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar shelled the port in the capital Tripoli, held by al-Serraj’s government. The shutdowns in Libya, ongoing for over a month, have slashed the OPEC member’s crude production by over 1 million barrels per day.
We expect bunker prices may change insignificant and irregular today in a range of plus-minus 1-4 USD.