MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb.14
MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, VLSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs demonstrated upward changes on Feb. 13:
380 HSFO – USD/MT – 362.77 (+2.78)
VLSFO – USD/MT – 543.00 (+3.00)
MGO – USD/MT – 598.64 (+3.19)
Meantime, world oil indexes also increased on Feb. 13 on beliefs, that Russia and OPEC will deepen production cuts to prevent worsening of crude demand from a new spike in deaths and infections from China’s Covid-19 epidemic.
Brent for April settlement increased by $0.55 to $56.34 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for March rose by $0.25 to $51.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $4.92 to WTI. Gasoil for March delivery added $4.50.
Today morning oil indexes are steady amid possibility of deeper supply cuts from major producers.
China reported a sharp spike in deaths and infections from a new virus after the hardest-hit province of Hubei applied a new classification system that broadens the scope of diagnoses for the outbreak, which has spread to more than 20 countries. The death toll in China reached 1,367, up 254 from the previous day. The number of confirmed cases on Feb.13 jumped by 15,152 to 59,804. But the other countries still believe that China is under-reporting the number of infections and deaths.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), meanwhile, estimated a drop of 435,000 barrels a day during the first three months of the year. It had previously expected world fuel consumption to grow by 800,000 barrels a day compared with a year earlier. The expected decline in demand prompted the agency to cut its 2020 growth forecast by 365,000 bpd to 825,000 barrels a day, the lowest since 2011. The effects from coronavirus to oil demand will be more significant than those of the 2003 SARS epidemic because of China’s increased importance and integration within the world economy.
The outbreak has shuttered businesses and prompted the quarantine of tens of millions of people in China, the world’s biggest crude importer. The country accounted for about 75% of last year’s oil-demand growth, according to the IEA.
The new estimates show that oil markets face a significant surplus despite the latest production cuts by OPEC and its partners. There are still hopes, that OPEC to agree to a 600,000-barrels-per-day cut in production to offset some of the lost demand in crude. However, Russia, a key producer, has so far resisted the initiative, asking for time to study the proposal. Russia will settle its position in a “timely” way, a Kremlin spokesman said on Feb.13. This suggests a decision won’t be arriving any time soon.
At the same time, the OPEC+ alliance had already faced an oversupply in the first half of 2020 because of the ongoing output surge from U.S. shale-oil drillers. That industry is likely to remain resilient against the price slump until later in the year, it predicted. Given the abundance of supply, disruptions in OPEC members such as Libya and Nigeria are having little impact on prices, the agency said.
We expect bunker prices may increase today: 1-3 USD up for IFO, 1-4 USD up for MGO.