Russia plans to boost crude oil exports in 1Q15
Russia is expected to raise its crude oil exports from key outlets and via the Druzhba pipeline in 1Q15 by 300K b/d q-o-q to an average of 3.9M b/d, Energy Intelligence reports. When transit volumes from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus are included this will rise to 4.26M b/d, up by 265K b/d q-o-q. The overall q-o-q rise follows significantly weaker 4Q14 crude exports, as producers wait for lower export duties to come into force in January 2015.
India’s imports of Iranian crude fall m-o-m but rise y-o-y
India’s imports of Iranian crude oil in November were down 19.1% m-o-m at an average of 251K b/d, Reuters reports. However, the volume is up 14.1% y-o-y. Over the first eleven months of 2014, India’s imports of Iranian crude averaged 270K b/d up 37.7% from the previous year.
US crude runs fall
US crude oil refinery inputs fell by 326K b/d w-o-w to average 16.3M b/d in the week ending 12 December, according to the US Energy Information Administration. This is down from record levels in the prior week. US crude imports dropped 564K b/d from the previous week to average 7.1M b/d. US crude inventories decreased by 0.8M bbls w-o-w to total 379.9M bbls.
South Korean Trade Data
South Korean iron ore imports rose 22% year-on-year to a six-month high of 6.9 Mt in October, according to official data published in the Tex Report. Combined shipments for January to October were up 21% on the same 10 months in 2013 at 61.5 Mt.
South Korean imports of anthracite and steam coal in November dipped to 7.5 Mt, their lowest level since May 2010, trade data from IHS McCloskey show. This marked a 15% year-on-year fall. In contrast, South Korea’s coking coal imports rose to a three-month high of 2.0 Mt in November, up 24% year-on-year. However, imports of all types in the period January-November were still up 3% year-on-year at 119.3 Mt.
China Daily Crude Steel Output
Daily crude steel output at China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) member mills rose to 1.749 Mt in the first 10 days of December, according to data from the industry association reported by SteelFirst. This compares with 1.713 Mt in the last 10 days of November and is the highest level since early October.
South African Coal Exports
Steam coal exports from South Africa rose to their highest level in over two and a half years in October to 7.7 Mt, up 15% year-on-year, according to trade data from IHS. Exports to India were particularly strong; rising 116% to an all-time high of 3.8 Mt. Exports to all destinations during January-October were up 4.6% on the same period in 2013 at 63.1 Mt.
HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI
The HSBC flash China manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a 7-month low of 49.5 in December. This is the first time since April it has dropped below the benchmark of 50 (indicating a contraction in economic activity) and compares with a final reading of 50.0 for November.
Libya declares force majeure for its two largest oil ports
Libya yesterday declared force majeure on the country’s two largest oil export terminals, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, according to state oil firm National Oil Corp, Reuters reports. The closures are due to clashes between allied factions allied to Libya’s two rival governments. Oil fields connected to the ports produce around 350K b/d of crude oil, about half of the country’s current output levels.
US Industrial Production
US industrial production grew by 5.2% year-on-year in November, the fastest rate of growth since April 2012, according to data from the US Federal Reserve. Manufacturing performed strongly and factory output is now estimated to have been above its 2007 pre-financial crisis peak in both October and November.
UK Coal Imports
UK coal imports (incl. anthracite) fell 19% year-on-year in October to 3.1 Mt, according to McCloksey. This was due to a 22% drop in imports of steam coal and anthracite combined to 2.6 Mt. In contrast, coking coal imports were up 2% at 0.4 Mt. Combined coal imports for January to October were down 13% on the same period in 2013, at 32.7 Mt.
IEA trims 2015 global oil demand growth forecast
The IEA in its latest monthly oil market report has revised its 2015 global demand growth forecast downwards by 230K b/d to 93.3M b/d, equal to y-o-y growth of 0.9M b/d. This would still be greater than growth in 2014 but the acceleration is now expected to be more modest in line with the ‘more tentative pace of the global economic recovery’. Global crude throughputs in 4Q14 were revised upwards by 0.5M b/d to 78M b/d as refiners took advantage of ‘healthy margins ahead of a flurry of refinery start-ups expected in early 2015’.
India’s steel consumption rose 8% year-on-year in November to 5.5 Mt, however, this was still a fall of 9% from October’s total, according to official data reported by Indian media. Steel consumption for the period April-November was up 1.3% on the same period last year, at 48.6 Mt. Indian crude steel production was up 3.5% year-on-year in November at 6.8 Mt, with combined production for April-November up 2.5% at 55.3 Mt.
Chinese Power Generation
China’s electricity generation totalled 448.7 billion kWh in November, up 2.2% year-on-year, according to official data. However, for the fifth month in succession thermal power generation declined on an annual basis, falling 4.2% to 345.5 billion kWh. In contrast, hydropower generation was up 23.1% to 74.6 billion kWh, although this was a the smallest increase since June. Thermal power generation for the January-November period was up only 0.3% year-on-year at 378.7 billion kWh.
Chinese Steel Output
China’s crude steel output fell 0.2% year-on-year in November to an 11-month low of 63.3 Mt, according to official data. Combined steel production for January-November totalled 748.7 Mt, up 1.9% on the same period in 2013.
Vietnam’s 2014 crude output expected to exceed target
Vietnam’s crude oil production in 2014 is expected to reach 341K b/d, beating its annual target by at least 5%, according to state oil firm Petrovietnam, Reuters reports. The higher forecast follows the firm commencing operations on eight new oil fields this year, while existing fields also produced more than expected. Meanwhile, Azeri Light crude prices fell to a near four year low on the back of a robust January loading list, up marginally on December volumes at 742K b/d.
Chinese Steel Exports by Destination
China’s gain in net steel exports has played a key role in generating steel production growth this year with exports surging to a record 9.7 Mt in November. A breakdown of October export data by destination (the most recent available) show South Korea (1.1 Mt), Vietnam (0.7 Mt), the Philippines (0.5 Mt), India (0.5 Mt) and Thailand (0.4 Mt) were the five largest recipients of Chinese steel exports.
Canadian Coking Coal Exports
Coking coal exports from Canada (excl. cargoes to the US) rose to a 5-month high of 2.9 Mt in October, up 12% year-on-year, according to McCloskey. Exports to China and Japan performed strongly in October with shipments to both rising to their highest levels this year, at 0.9 Mt and 1.0 Mt, respectively. Nevertheless, despite strong volumes in October, combined exports for January-October were down 7% year-on-year at 26.3 Mt.
OPEC cuts 2015 demand for its crude forecast
OPEC in its latest monthly oil market report has cut its forecast for demand for its crude in 2015 by around 300K b/d from the previous month’s report to 28.92M b/d. The organisation cited an “upward adjustment of non-OPEC supply” and a “downward revision in global demand”.
World Steel Price Continues to Fall
The world export price for hot rolled band fell further at the start of December, dropping $8/t in the last two weeks to $504/t, according to the latest World Steel Dynamics Steelbenchmarker. This is its lowest level since November 2009. The decline in US and Western European HRB prices continued, albeit at a slower pace than in November, as they fell $7/t and $4/t, to $706/t and $511/t, respectively. In contrast, the Chinese HRB price rose $3/t to $410/t, its first rise since the beginning of August.
Japan’s loadings of ESPO Blend in January set to increase
Japanese loadings of Russian ESPO Blend crude oil in January from Kozmino are scheduled to increase by approximately 70K b/d m-o-m to average at least 190K b/d, Argus reports. The increase in Japanese demand is supporting ESPO Blend prices following a drop in Chinese demand after the country purchased record volumes of 260K b/d of Kozmino loading ESPO for December.
US Coal Exports
The US exported 6.5 Mt of coal in October (excl. cargoes to Canada), down 21% Mt on the same month in 2013, according to official data. This decline was due to steam coal exports falling over 50% year-on-year to their lowest level since December 2010, at 1.8 Mt. However, coking coal exports rose to a 4-month high of 4.7 M in October, up 2% Mt year-on-year.
China Daily Crude Steel Output
Daily crude steel production at China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) member mills rose to 1.713 Mt in the last 10 days of November, according to data from the industry association reported by SteelFirst. Mills are said to have returned to normal production levels after anti-pollution measures, put in place for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing contributed to daily output dropping to 1.635 Mt in the first 10 days of November.
China’s crude imports increase in November
China’s imports of crude oil in November increased by 513K b/d m-o-m to average 6.21M b/d, according to the country’s General Administration of Customs. The volume was up 453K b/d y-o-y. Between January and November crude imports averaged 6.1M b/d, up from 5.61M b/d during the same period in 2013. Oil product exports fell by 22.3% m-o-m to 2.44MT (613K b/d), while oil product imports rose by 3.95% m-o-m to 2.37MT (595K b/d).
Chinese Trade Data
Chinese iron ore imports fell to 9-month low of 67.4 Mt in November, down 10.4 Mt year-on-year, according to preliminary data from China Customs. However, combined iron ore imports for January-November are still around 100 Mt higher than for the same period in 2013. In contrast, China’s steel exports rose to an all-time high of 9.7 Mt in November, up 4.7 Mt year-on-year, while exports in the eleven months to November were up a massive 26.7 Mt year-on-year at 83.6 Mt.
Chinese coal imports were down 7.4 Mt year-on-year in November, at 21.0 Mt, taking imports for the last 11 months down 27.4 Mt year-on-year to 264.4 Mt.
Japanese Coal Imports
Japan imported 16.4 Mt of coal (incl. anthracite) in October, up 4% year-on-year, according to official data. This increase was due to a 15% increase in coking coal imports which rose to a 3-month high of 6.4 Mt. Meanwhile, imports of steam coal and anthracite combined were down 2% at 10.0 Mt. Australia (10.2 Mt), followed by Indonesia (2.6 Mt), was the main sources of Japanese coal imports in October.