MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 29.
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 downward evolution on July 26:
380 HSFO – USD/MT – 415.70(-1.94)
180 HSFO – USD/MT – 451.55(-3.25)
MGO – USD/MT – 657.07(-2.19)
Meantime, world oil indexes changed also insignificant and irregular on Jul.26: the fears of a Middle East showdown in the Strait of Hormuz unable to push up prices after being trumped by greater fears of an economic slowdown and weak demand outlook.
Brent for September settlement increased by $0.07 to $63.46 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained $0.18 to $56.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $7.26 to WTI. Gasoil for August lost $4.25.
Today morning oil indexes does not have any firm trend so far.
World experts worry that the U.S.-China trade war will impact global economic growth more than previously expected, despite clear signals from many major central banks, including the Fed, that they would cut rates and ease monetary policies. More than 70 percent of 250 economists polled by Reuters now say a deeper global economic downturn is more likely, compared to around 50 percent in a similar poll in April.
China produced 95.35 million tons (699.2 million barrels) of crude oil during the first half of the year. This represented a modest 0.8-percent annual increase. The increase in crude oil production, however small, was worth noting. China has been struggling with a decline in domestic oil production caused by a combination of natural depletion and geological challenges that make new production in many cases prohibitively expensive.
Besides, China imported about 209,000 bpd of oil from Iran in June despite U.S. sanctions. Imports are down from just under 500,000 bpd in the first five months of the year, but the levels are still significant. The data adds to speculation that Beijing may risk running afoul of American sanctions to secure crude supplies from the Islamic Republic. Besides, in June, China is expected to ramp up purchases from other major oil-producing countries in the Middle East, West Africa and Russia to make up for the loss of supplies from Iran.
Saudi Arabia urged on Jul.25 countries buying crude oil to secure the free navigation of tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, which is the most important oil chokepoint in the world with daily oil flows averaging 21 million bpd, or the equivalent of 21 percent of global petroleum liquids consumption. Several high-profile incidents in recent weeks and months have raised the tensions between Iran and the West in the Middle East.
The US oil and gas rig count fell by 8 last week, adding to months of losses, as US oil production falls to lowest levels since October 2018. The total number of active oil rigs in the United States fell by 3 according to the report, reaching 776. The number of active gas rigs decreased by 5 to reach 169. US production fell sharply for week ending July 19 to 11.3 million bpd, more than 1 million barrels down from the all-time high in the United States, and the lowest production level since October of last year.
Nord Stream 2 AG said on Jul.26 that it had brought action for annulment of the amendment to the Gas Directive before the General Court, because it says the measures extended to pipelines to and from the EU are ‘discriminatory.’ Nord Stream 2 also reserves the option to defend its rights under international law by proceeding separately with arbitration against the EU pursuant to the investment protection guarantees of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Meanwhile, a U.S. Senate committee will now not vote until next week on a bill that seeks to levy sanctions on companies and individuals involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
We expect bunker prices may continue irregular changes today in a range of plus-minus 1-4 USD.