MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 11
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 irregular changes on May.08:
380 HSFO: USD/MT 227.12 (+2.54)
VLSFO: USD/MT 260.00 (+4.00)
MGO: USD/MT 325.67 (-3.33)
Meantime, world oil indexes rose on May.08 as more countries moved ahead with plans to relax economic and social lockdowns put in place to halt the coronavirus pandemic.
Brent for June settlement increased by $1.51 to $30.97 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose by $1.19 to $24.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $6.23 to WTI. Gasoil for May delivery gained $6.23.
Today morning global oil indexes do not have any firm trend so far.
Fuel demand has declined about 30% worldwide and companies are making drastic cuts to spending, laying off thousands of workers and closing production to offset a global glut. Consumption has picked up modestly in the last couple of weeks, but the overhang of supply is expected to last for months, if not years.
As per preliminary calculations, the United States is on track to cut 1.7 million barrels of oil production per day. U.S. Energy Secretary said last month that the DoE expected that production in the United States would fall by between two and three million bpd by the end of the year—it appears the cuts have come even quicker than the department expected. The need for the production cuts grew more evident as the United States shut down nearly all activity in an attempt to flatten that curve of infections that sought to overwhelm the country’s healthcare system. The cuts from U.S. producers may quiet the displeasure of OPEC and Russia, that the U.S. would not require its producers to curb production.
Goldman Sachs in turn predicts, oil demand could rebound enough to exceed supply by the end of this month, noting that this would be in no small part because of the production cuts implemented by all major producers. Meantime, demand remains the key factor for oil prices, and demand will likely remain depressed throughout the year. As per Bank, at the moment demand is about 19 million bpd below pre-crisis levels. While this demand has started to improve, it would still be down by 17 million bpd from pre-crisis demand this month and by 12 million barrels in June and July. By August, things will be looking up, with demand at 5-6 million bpd below pre-crisis levels.
The United States will pull two Patriot missile batteries from guarding Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Earlier Saudi Arabia ramped up production and sent much of it toward the United States, where it now waits on oil tankers in U.S. waters. This move has angered some U.S. lawmakers, who last month lobbied the Trump administration to do something about it, be it assessing tariffs or sanctions—or even pulling military support for Saudi Arabia at a time when there remain significant tensions between it and Iran.
China crude oil imports increased in April to about 9.84 million bpd as demand for fuels began to rebound. The country’s overall exports posted an improvement from March, at 3.5 percent, despite expectations that they would slump by as much as 15.7 percent. This strongly suggests that a recovery is underway, and it may accelerate in the coming months. In oil, the average daily imports in China for the first four months of the year stood at 10.11 million bpd, which was a modest increase over the same period of 2019 as refiners ramped up run rates in response to the pickup in industrial activity after the end of lockdowns.
The number of oil and gas rigs in the US fell again last week by 34, falling to 374, with the total oil and gas rigs sitting at 614 fewer than this time last year. The number of oil rigs decreased for the week by 33 rigs, bringing the total to 292—a 513-rig loss year over year. It is the fewest number of active oil rigs since late 2009. The EIA’s estimate for the week is that oil production in the United States fell to 11.9 million barrels of oil per day on average for week ending May 1, which is 1.2 million bpd off the all-time high and a substantial 300,000 bpd lower than the week prior. It is the fifth straight weekly production decline. It is the first sub-12 million bpd rate in the United States since February 2019.
Forecasts expect U.S. companies will keep pulling rigs for the rest of the year and will be hesitant to activate many new units in 2021 and 2022. Raymond James projected the oil and gas rig count would collapse from around 800 at the end of 2019 to about 400 by the middle of the year and 200 at the end of 2020. The investment bank expects an average of just 225 operating rigs in 2021.
Over 100 tankers are estimated to be storing tens of millions of barrels of crude oil at sea, and floating storage is more likely to increase than to decrease. At least 65 VLCCs around the world had been stationary for at least 15 days, indicating they were likely to be storing oil, with a further 38 suezmaxes also holding oil at sea.
We expect global bunker prices may rise today in a range of plus 5-15 USD.