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Saudi struggles to find buyers for extra crude as demand dives -sources

Saudi Arabia is struggling to find customers for its extra oil as demand plummets due to the coronavirus and freight rates surge, industry sources said, undermining the kingdom’s bid to seize market share from rivals by expanding production. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and U.S. refiners were taking less Saudi crude, Finland’s Neste was not taking any in April and Indian refiners had sought delayed deliveries, the sources said. Polish refiners were also easing up on purchases, they added. Unipec, the trading arm of Asia’s largest refiner Sinopec, has also decided ...

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US DATA: USDA says wheat net export sales more than double on week on Chinese demand

US net export sales of wheat for the week ended March 19 more than doubled on the week to 740,048 mt as a result of demand from China, Department of Agriculture data showed Thursday. China purchased 485,000 mt of US wheat during the reporting week – the purchase came for the first time since 2017. Of the total export sales to China, 200,000 mt was for the current marketing year ending May 2020, while the rest was for the next marketing year. Under the Phase 1 trade deal signed between ...

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US Steel Imports Drop in February, Coronavirus Casts a Shadow

U.S. steel imports tumbled in February on a monthly comparison basis and were also down year over year for the first two months of 2020 – according to the latest American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report. The association of North American steel makers noted that total and finished domestic steel imports dropped 52.2% and 18.4% from the previous month, respectively, in February to roughly 1.5 million net tons and 1.34 million net tons, respectively. Total and finished domestic steel imports fell 21.3% and 28.7% year over year, respectively, year ...

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Exxaro will go on exporting coal amid Covid-19 lockdown

Exxaro, SA’s largest coal miner, will continue to export product out of SA to aid the government with foreign exchange during the national lockdown. In an update released to the market on Friday, Exxaro said it would be able to continue with its production activities during the 21-day lockdown, subject to the approval of an application that demonstrates that these activities are essential. Exxaro is the largest provider of coal to Eskom and the utility has confirmed that all its suppliers will be issued with the necessary permits to ensure ...

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India’s Reliance seeks to sell MidEast crude cargoes in rare move

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd is seeking to sell some April-loading crude cargoes in a rare move as it plans to cut crude processing after the coronavirus pandemic hit global fuel demand, four sources said on Friday. The private refiner has offered various grades of Middle East crude for sale in Asia’s spot market, including grades such as Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude and Qatar’s al-Shaheen crude, the sources said. “Everything is possible if you are interested,” another source said. The company did not respond to a request for comment. Source: Reuters ...

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Unipec decides against lifting more Saudi crude in April – sources

Unipec, the trading arm of Asia’s largest refiner Sinopec, has decided against lifting more Saudi crude in April after freight rates surged, three sources familiar with the matter said. The refiner had initially asked for more Saudi oil after the world’s top exporter slashed prices for April-loading supplies, the sources said. However, freight rates for oil tankers surged and offset the large discounts on Saudi oil, making it less economical, they said. Also, Saudi Aramco was offering more light crude while Unipec’s preference was for medium and heavier grades, two ...

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US suspends plans to buy oil after funding is left out of $2 trillion stimulus package

The U.S. Department of Energy is suspending its plans to buy crude for the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve after the requested $3 billion in funding for the project was left out of the $2 trillion stimulus package. “Given the current uncertainty related to adequate Congressional Appropriations for crude oil purchases associated with the March 19, 2020 solicitation, the Department is withdrawing the solicitation,” an amendment filed Wednesday said. “Should funding become secure for the planned purchases, the Department will reissue the solicitation,” it added. The original request for proposal, filed ...

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Indonesia’s January palm oil exports down 32% y/y -palm oil group

Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, exported 2.39 million tonnes of palm oil in January, including refined products, Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) data showed. Shipments fell from 3.25 million tonnes in the same month last year and 3.72 million tonnes in December. January’s export drop was due to high stock level in main importing countries. Meanwhile, uncertainties surrounding spread of coronavirus and global energy price are seen to have impacted demand for the vegetable oil, GAPKI said in a statement. Meanwhile, by the end of January, Indonesia’s palm ...

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Vietnam set to slash sweet crude exports as low prices hurt output and sales

Southeast Asian sweet crude market may witness spot cargo volumes decline sharply over the coming trading cycles as Vietnam plans to slash production and exports with state-run PetroVietnam finding crude sales unprofitable amid plunging oil prices. Vietnam is one of the major regional crude suppliers as it regularly offers various light, medium and heavy sweet grades including Chim Sao, Thang Long, Dai Hung and Bach Ho in the Southeast Asian spot market. The country exported 79,845 b/d of crude in 2019, up 0.4% from 2018 exports, according to Vietnam customs ...

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Competition to export Mexican LNG using US shale gas faces test in current market

During any other market cycle, Mexico Pacific Limited’s proposal to build an up to 12 million mt/year liquefaction terminal would seem a no-brainer. Its proposed location on Mexico’s West Coast allows for a shorter shipping route to Asia than from the US Gulf Coast and the ability for tankers to avoid the congested Panama Canal. Existing pipeline infrastructure in the region can access cheap Texas shale gas. And in February it tapped for its helm an industry veteran that helped guide Cheniere Energy when the US LNG pioneer started up ...

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Shell, other oil companies seek less Saudi crude in April due to weaker demand -sources

Several European and Nordic oil refiners are taking less crude from Saudi Arabia in April, industry sources said, suggesting a lack of demand for the extra supplies the country has offered as it seeks to boost market share. The world’s top oil exporter is planning to boost exports sharply after a three-year supply-cut deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Couuntries and other producers led by Russia collapsed earlier this month. But with demand also collapsing due to government restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak, oil companies have been ...

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GSPC, GAIL issue force majeure notices on prompt LNG cargoes, say sources

Indian state-owned entities GSPC and GAIL issued Force Majeure notices to their suppliers of March-April delivery cargoes to Dahej, Mundra and Dabhol LNG terminals due to operational constraints after the country was put under a 21-day lockdown from Tuesday to contain the coronavirus outbreak, sources familiar with the matter told S&P Global Platts Thursday. “We have issued FM notices to let the suppliers know about the operational difficulties, delay in performance and also closure of some banking operations due to the lockdown imposed in the country. We are not canceling ...

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India lockdown: Indian gasoline exports to put North Asian suppliers in jeopardy

India’s decision on Tuesday to lock down over a billion of its people could pose a grave threat to South Korean and Chinese gasoline exporters as a potential downfall in South Asia’s motor fuel demand would lead to excess Indian supplies flooding the Asian market. The lockdown, which started at midnight on March 24, would last for three weeks and would apply to all the states and territories in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a nationwide televised address last night, warned that radical measures were required to combat ...

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Iron ore shipments from Australia and Brazil expanded on week

SMM estimates that there were 71 vessels carrying 11.75 million mt of iron ore arrived at major Chinese ports during March 15-21, down 260,000 mt from the week ended March 14 but up 1.65 million mt from the same period a year earlier. Arrivals in China’s steelmaking hub Tangshan declined on the week, while shipments arrived in Shandong edged higher. During the same period, iron ore deliveries leaving Australian ports rose 1.63 million mt on the week to 17.39 million mt, 1.55 million mt higher than the same period last ...

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China’s purchase of US soybeans spike in Jan-Feb under phase one deal

China bought 6 million mt of soy from the US in the first two months of 2020, up 500% year on year as it ramped up purchases under its phase one trade deal commitments, while purchases of Brazilian beans were down 26% to 5.14 million mt, Chinese customs data showed Wednesday. Under the phase one trade deal, signed on January 15, China committed to purchase $80 billion worth of US agricultural products in two years. Soybean purchases are a vital aspect of the agreement, since historically the commodity comprises over ...

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