Japan’s crude imports decline y-o-y in June
Japan’s crude oil imports in June declined by 8% y-o-y to 3M b/d, Energy Intelligence reports. Refining throughput in the month averaged 2.63M b/d, down 534K b/d y-o-y. Imports from the Middle East fell by 11.4% y-o-y to 2.48Mb/d, with the UAE and Qatar accounting for the majority of the drop. Imports from Iran however, were up by 60K b/d y-o-y at 189K b/d. Gabon’s crude exports to Japan were up by 43K b/d y-o-y at 63K b/d.
China Manufacturing PMI
The official China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index and the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI both rose to 51.7 in July 2014 (indicating an expansion in activity by being over 50). The official Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.0 in June to a 27-month high, while the HSBC Manufacturing PMI rose from 50.7 to an 18 month high, although it was slightly lower than the initial flash reading of 52.0.
Black Sea Grain Exports
Expectations of a strong wheat harvest have caused the International Grains Council to revise up its export forecasts for Black Sea grains in 2014/15 (July-June). The forecast for Russian wheat exports has been raised by 3.1 Mt to 20.3 Mt, while the forecast for Ukrainian wheat exports has been revised upwards by 0.9 Mt to 9.1 Mt. If realised, the combined Russian and Ukrainian export total of 29.4 Mt would be the highest for six years.
Japanese Steel Exports
Japan exported 3.6 Mt of steel in June 2014, up 2.6% month-on-month but down 2.1% year-on-year, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. Steel exports totalled 20.8 Mt in the 1h14, down 7.2% on the same period in 2013. Exports to South Korea and Taiwan both declined in the 1h14, down 8.6% and 15.4%, to 3.6 Mt and 1.8 Mt respectively, while exports to China were stable at 3.0 Mt.
Yemen’s main oil pipeline sabotaged again
Yemen’s 70-110K b/d Maarib pipeline (its main export line) was blown up for a second time on Wednesday, Reuters reports. This follows a bombing of the line on 12 July, with repairs only completed 24 July, before the latest attack. The pipeline pumps Maarib light crude to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea.
Sharp Drop in European Steel Price
The Western European price for hot rolled band fell sharply in the second half of July 2014 to $566/t, down $13/t in the last two weeks, according to World Steel Dynamics’ Steelbenchmarker. This is its lowest level since mid-August 2009. There was a corresponding decline of $7/t in the world export price, to $551/t, while US HRB domestic prices edged up $1/t to $742/t. The Chinese domestic HRB price was unchanged at $450/t.
Russia’s seaborne crude exports expected to decrease
Russia’s crude oil exports in August are set to fall by 214K b/d m-o-m and 223K b/d y-o-y to average 2.22M b/d, Energy Intelligence reports. Baltic Sea exports are scheduled to decline by 93K b/d m-o-m to 1.23M b/d, with Primorsk experiencing the majority of the reduction. Black Sea exports from the port of Novorossiysk are expected to drop by 73K b/d m-o-m and 180K b/d y-o-y to 536K b/d. Exports from Kozmino are scheduled to decrease by 47K b/d m-o-m to 453K b/d, but the volume from Russia’s Far Eastern port is still 51K b/d more than in August 2013.
South Korean Iron Ore Imports
South Korea imported 5.5 Mt of iron ore in June 2014, down 0.9 Mt month-on-month but up 1.2 Mt year-on-year, according to official data. Iron ore imports totalled 36.8 Mt in the 1h14, up a massive 7.6 Mt on the same period in 2013. Imports from Australia were 26.9 Mt in the 1h14, marking an annual gain of 5.6 Mt, while long-haul shipments from Brazil rose 1.2 Mt to 7.6 Mt.
JX crude refining set to fall y-o-y in August
Japan’s top oil refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp will reduce crude refining for domestic consumption in August by 12% y-o-y to 1.05M b/d, Reuters reports. This would be the lowest volume for the month of August since the company was formed in a 2010 merger. The company’s oil products exports in August are scheduled to decline by 35% y-o-y to 3M bbls.
Flat Growth for Japanese Iron Ore & Coal Imports in 1h14
According to Ministry of Finance data, Japan’s iron ore imports in June of 10.8 Mt took total imports to 66.8 Mt for the first six months of the year, very similar to the level in the 1h13 (66.4 Mt). Meanwhile, Japanese coal imports reached to a 3-month high of 15.8 Mt in June, which brought total imports in the 1h14 up a marginal 0.5 Mt from the 1h13 volume to 92.3 Mt.
Venezuela set to increase oil sales to China
Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA) has committed to raising its oil sales to China by 400K b/d from current levels to a target of 1M b/d in 2016, Argus reports. China’s oil imports from Venezuela so far this year, have included around 320K b/d of crude oil and 100K b/d of 380cst straight-run fuel oil. Meanwhile, Satorp’s 400K b/d Jubail refinery in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach full capacity in August-September, almost a year after its start-up.
Yemen resumes oil flow after pipeline repair
Yemen has repaired and begun pumping crude oil through the 70-110K b/d Maarib pipeline after tribesmen blew up the pipeline on July 12th, Reuters reports. The pipeline carries Marib light crude from the Safer oilfields to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea.
IMF World Economic Outlook
In its latest World Economic Outlook the IMF has cut its global growth forecast for 2014 by 0.3 percentage points to 3.4% but has stated it expects the global recovery to continue, albeit at an uneven pace. The forecast for 2015 is unchanged at 4.0%. The 2014 growth forecast for advanced economies has been cut by 0.4 percentage points to 1.8%, with expected growth in the US marked down sharply from 2.8% to 1.7%. Growth expectations for emerging and developing economies in 2014 have been trimmed from 4.8% to 4.6%, with the forecast for China also reduced by 0.2 percentage points, to 7.4%.
Japan’s crude imports increase
Japan’s crude oil imports in June increased by 1% y-o-y to 3.16M b/d, according to preliminary data from the country’s Ministry of Finance. But imports in 1H14 were down 3.4% y-o-y averaging 3.53M b/d, Reuters reports.
India’s crude imports increase, product exports decline
India’s crude imports in June increased by 6.5% m-o-m and 12.3% y-o-y to 3.93M b/d, according to the country’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Crude imports in 1H14 were up slightly from the same period last year averaging 3.86M b/d. Product exports in June declined marginally from the previous month to 1.27M b/d, down from 1.37M b/d in June 2013. Product exports in 1H14 averaged 1.3M b/d, down from an average of 1.37M b/d in 1H13.
HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI
The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to an 18-month high of 52.0 in July 2014 on the back of strong ordering. This is up from a final reading of 50.7 in June and is the fourth consecutive month of improving conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector, suggesting that government measures to stimulate the economy have had some effect.
US Steel Imports
The US imported 3.3 Mt of steel in June 2014 down 11% month-on-month but up 46% year-on-year, according to official data. Combined US steel imports for the 1h14 totalled 19.1 Mt, up 34% on the same period in 2013.
US crude stocks decline
US crude inventories declined by 4M bbls w-o-w to total 371.1M bbls in the week ending 18 July, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Crude stocks in the Midwest (where refinery runs hit record highs last week) fell by 2M bbls w-o-w to 86M bbls, the lowest level since April 2010. Crude inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma dropped by 1.5M bbls from the prior week’s total to 18.8M bbls, the lowest since November 2008. US crude oil refinery inputs decreased marginally from the previous week’s record averaging 16.6M b/d. US total gasoline stocks increased by 3.38M bbls w-o-w to 217.9M bbls, the highest since March. Gulf coast gasoline stocks were up by 2.62M bbls w-o-w at 73.5M bbls. US distillate inventories climbed by 1.6M bbls w-ow to 126M bbls, the largest volume since October. US crude imports were little changed from the prior week’s average at 7.4M b/d.
French Coal Imports
France’s monthly coal imports fell to their lowest level in over 15 years in May 2014 at 0.7 Mt, down 60% year-on-year, according to data from McCloskey. Coking coal imports plunged to their lowest level since March 2012 at 0.2 Mt, down 72% year-on-year. Imports of steam coal (incl. anthracite) also fell in May, down 54% to 0.5 Mt.
European Consumer Confidence Declines
Consumer confidence in the Eurozone fell to a three month low of -8.4 in July, down from a revised -7.5 in June, according to preliminary data from the European Commission. Consumer sentiment also declined in the European Union as a whole in July, falling to -5.5 in July, down from -4.3 in June, which has added to concerns over the strength of the region’s economic recovery.
Australia’s product imports increase in May
Australia’s imports of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel in May increased by 61.6% m-o-m to 2.1M mt, according to the country’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. Jet fuel imports increased by 74.5% from the previous month to 90K b/d (an eight-year high according to Argus). Australia took its first Indian jet fuel cargoes since November 2012, at an average of 21K b/d. Imports of Japanese jet fuel increased from zero in the previous month to 29K b/d. Gasoline imports meanwhile climbed by 81.5% m-o-m to 94K b/d, with imports from Singapore jumping 87.3% to 80K b/d. Diesel imports rose 54.3% m-o-m to 322K b/d, with the majority of demand serviced by exports from Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Australian imports of Indonesian diesel surged by 753% to 40K b/d. Meanwhile, Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp is currently planning to construct a 16K b/d diesel import terminal at Port Bonython in South Australia, with operations scheduled to start in 2Q14, Reuters reports. Diesel will be imported from Asia, including Japan, the Middle East and North America, a Mitsubishi spokeswoman said.
World Crude Steel Production
Combined steel production for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association rose by 3.1% year-on-year in June 2014 to 137.1 Mt. Total steel production for the 1h14 was up 2.5% year-on-year at 821.3 Mt.
There were year-on-year increases in US (+1.9% to 7.2 Mt), Russian (+3.9% to 5.9 Mt) and EU (+0.7% to 14.2 Mt) steel production in June 2014, while steel output declined in Japan (-1.7% to 9.1 Mt). South Korean steel production grew by over 10% year-on-year for the fourth month in succession in June (+10.8% to 6.0 Mt) and, as previously reported, there was also an increase in Chinese output (+4.5% to 69.3 Mt).
China’s imports of Middle East crude increase y-o-y
Chinese imports of Middle East crude in June increased by 664K b/d y-o-y to 3.19M b/d but were down by 92K b/d m-o-m, according to the country’s General Administration of Customs. Chinese crude imports from the Middle East in 1H14 increased by 451K b/d y-o-y to average 3.4M b/d, as the country’s intake of Iranian, Iraqi and Omani crude has climbed. China’s imports of West African crude in June fell by 199K b/d from the previous month to 976K b/d. West African crude exports to the country in 1H14 however, were are up 97K b/d y-o-y at 1.17M b/d. The country’s imports of crude from the Caribbean were down by 117K b/d m-o-m at 530K b/d, with 1H14 imports averaging 535K b/d, up 64K b/d y-o-y. Imports from the Mediterranean and Kazakhstan meanwhile have plummeted due to production problems in both regions.
Chinese Bauxite Imports
Indian bauxite exports to China rose to their highest level in 12 months in June 2014 at 0.8 Mt, up 46% month-on-month, according to official data. Imports of bauxite from Australia also increased in June, up 14% to 1.4 Mt. China imported 2.9 Mt of bauxite in June, up 38% month-on-month, although this is still well below the year-to-date high of 8.0 Mt achieved in January.
Chinese Iron Ore Imports Breakdown
China imported 45.8 Mt of iron ore from Australia in June 2014, up 1% month-on-month, according to official data. Imports of Brazilian iron ore were stable in June at 12.4 Mt. Meanwhile, imports from South Africa and Sierra Leone fell by 26% and 44% month-on-month, to 3.2 Mt and 1.1 Mt respectively. Iron ore imports from other sources fell by 6% month-on-month to 11.2 Mt.