Iran’s Oil Exports Rise Above 2M b/d
Iran’s oil exports in April rose to over 2M b/d, Reuters reports, citing Iran’s official news agency IRNA. In March, the NIOC said that the country’s oil exports had reached 1.8M b/d.
US Coal Exports Fall
US coal exports (excl. shipments to Canada) fell 7.1 Mt year-on-year in the 1q16 to 12.1 Mt, the lowest 1q total since 2009, according to data from the US National Mining Association. This was largely due to falling shipments to Europe. There was a 3.1 Mt drop in coking coal exports to 8.8 Mt, and an even sharper 4.0 Mt decline in steam coal shipments to 3.3 Mt.
Thai Coal Imports
Thailand’s steam coal imports (incl. anthracite) climbed to the highest level in over nine years in March at 3.7 Mt, up 1.7 Mt year-on-year. Shipments from Australia and Indonesia account for the clear majority of imports and for the rise, IHS McCloskey reports. 1q16 imports were up 3.3 Mt on the same period last year to 8.8 Mt.
Port Hedland Iron Ore Exports
Iron ore exports from Port Hedland retreated from March’s all-time high of 39.5 Mt to 32.7 Mt in April, although they were still up 2.3 Mt year-on-year, according to Port Authority data. Shipments to China rose 2.5 Mt to a seven-month high of 32.6 Mt, while exports to Japan plunged to the lowest level in seven years at 0.9 Mt. Shipments to all destinations in the first four months of the year were up 3.2 Mt on the same period in 2015 at 147.6 Mt.
Canadian Oil Sands Output Cut By Wildfire
Canada’s oil sands production was reduced on Wednesday as producers reported that they would be cutting output due to wildfires in the province of Alberta, Argus reports. Shell shut down production at its 225K b/d Albion Sands oil sands mining operation to focus on evacuation efforts while Suncor Energy was also lowering output at its northern Alberta operations.
US Crude Stocks Hit Another Record High
US crude oil inventories increased by 2.8M bbls w-o-w to a fresh record high of 543.4M bbls in the week ending 29 April, according to the US Energy Information Administration. US crude refinery inputs rose by 139K b/d to 16M b/d. US crude imports increased by 110K b/d to 7.7M b/d.
Turkish Coal Imports Rise
Turkey imported 8.9 Mt of coal in the 1q16 up 1.1 Mt year-on-year, IHS McCloskey reports. Imports of steam coal and anthracite combined rose by 0.8 Mt to 7.6 Mt as sharply higher shipments from Colombia (+1.1 Mt to 3.3 Mt) countered a fall in imports from South Africa and the US. There was a smaller 0.3 Mt increase in coking coal imports in the 1q16, to 1.3 Mt, as shipments from Australia rose.
Eurozone Composite PMI
The Eurozone composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, stood at 53.0 in April following 53.1 in March. PMI readings for Germany (53.6), France (50.2), Italy (53.1) and Spain (55.2) all signalled expansion in activity in April, although the pace of growth slowed to an 11-month low in Germany.
China’s Manufacturing Activity Contracts in April
China’s manufacturing activity was indicated to have contracted in April as the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the month fell by 0.3 points from March to 49.4. This is the fourteenth consecutive month in which the index has been below 50.0 (indicating a worsening of conditions).
Brazilian Iron Ore and Grain Exports
Brazil’s iron ore exports slipped to a three-month low of 29.0 Mt in April, although this was still up 0.3 Mt year-on-year, according to official data. Nevertheless, strong shipments in the 1q16 meant exports in January-April were up 6.2 Mt year-on-year at 114.3 Mt.
Brazilian soyabean exports surged to an all-time high of 10.1 Mt in April, up 3.5 Mt year-on-year, according to official data. Soya meal shipments were up 0.2 Mt at 1.4 Mt. Although corn exports continued their seasonal decline, dropping to 0.4 Mt, strong soya volumes meant combined soya (beans & meal) and corn exports matched last month’s record of 11.9 Mt.
Sharp Rise in China’s Steel Sector PMI
China’s official steel purchasing managers’ index (PMI) surged to the highest level since February 2013 at 57.3 in April, according to data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing reported by SteelFirst. This is up from 49.7 in March and is the first time in two years the index has risen above the 50 benchmark that separates expansion from contraction.
Chinese Rebar Price
A strong rally in steel prices in China saw the domestic rebar price climb to the highest level since November 2014 at $392/t on 22 April, a sharp jump of $148/t from the beginning of January, according to World Steel Dynamics. The price subsequently retreated to $376/t but had edged up to $379/t by 29 April.
IGC Releases 2016/17 Forecasts
In its first set of forecasts for the 2016/17 harvest year (Jul-Jun) the International Grains Council (IGC) is predicting that global grain trade will fall by 8.2 Mt to a three-year low of 314.9 Mt. This is largely due to an expected 7.4 Mt fall in coarse grain shipments to 161.6 Mt, while wheat exports are expected to decline by 0.8 Mt to 153.3 Mt. In contrast global soya trade (beans & meal) is expected to rise by 2.0 Mt to 195.1 Mt.
North Sea oil output set to fall for third-consecutive month in May
North Sea crude oil output in May is expected to decline to 1.94M b/d, down from April’s 1.99M b/d, Reuters reports. This is the third consecutive monthly decline since production rose to a four-year high of 2.23M b/d in February. Further drops could occur in June, when oil field maintenance is expected to take place.
Japanese Steel Exports
Japan’s steel exports climbed to a 12-month high of 3.8 Mt in March, although this was still down slightly year-on-year, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. Exports to Asia rose to a two-year high of 2.9 Mt, while shipments to South America totalled a record 0.3 Mt. Meanwhile, steel exports to the Middle East and North America both fell to 0.2 Mt each.
Asian imports of Iranian crude oil climb
Asia’s imports of Iranian oil in March rose by 519K b/d (or 50%) y-o-y to 1.56M b/d, Reuters reports. Over 1Q16, Asia’s imports of Iranian crude increased by 257K b/d (or 25%) y-o-y to 1.27M b/d. Growth has been driven by higher Indian and South Korean imports of Iranian crude, while in contrast Chinese and Japanese imports have declined.
US crude stocks hit fresh record
US crude oil inventories increased by 2M bbls w-o-w to a fresh record high of 540.6M bbls in the week ending 22 April, according to the US Energy Information Administration. US crude refinery throughputs dropped by 257K b/d from the prior week to 15.8M b/d. US crude imports fell by 637K b/d w-o-w to 7.55M b/d.
US distillate stocks fall to 2016 low, while gasoline inventories rise
US distillate stocks dropped by 1.7M bbls w-o-w to 158.2M bbls in the week ending 22 April, the lowest since December 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration. US gasoline stocks increased by 1.6M bbls w-o-w to 241.3M bbls.
Chinese Steel Exports by Destination
Of the 27.8 Mt of steel China exported in the 1q16, 17.3 Mt was shipped to destinations in Asia, up 2.6 Mt year-on-year, according to Chinese customs data. This offset a 1.3 Mt fall in exports to the Americas, to 2.1 Mt, and accounted for the majority of growth in shipments. There were also smaller annual increases, of 0.9 Mt and 0.7 Mt in steel exports to Europe and the Middle East to 2.6 Mt and 3.3 Mt, respectively.
Iraq’s southern oil exports at record for April so far
Iraq’s oil exports from its Southern terminals in the first 24 days of April have averaged 3.43M b/d, exceeding the previous record in November of 3.37M b/d, Reuters reports.
Shanxi Province to Cut Coal Capacity
Local government in China’s Shanxi province, the country’s largest coal producing region by volume, has approved a reduction of around 145 Mtpa in the province’s coal mining capacity to slightly under 764 Mt, IHS Energy reports. These cuts are part of the national government’s countrywide effort to cut overcapacity in the coal mining industry.
China’s Steel Consumption
Chinese crude steel consumption fell by 5.4% year-on-year in 2015 to 700 Mt, according to estimates from the China Iron and Steel Association reported in Chinese media.
Meanwhile, officials in China’s Hebei province have announced that, in spite of recent steel price increases, steel mills in the province that had previously been ordered to close as part of measures to reduce overcapacity in the industry will remain shut, Reuters reports citing Xinhua. Hebei is China’s largest steel producing province.
Lowest Quarter For US Steel Imports Since 2011
US steel imports fell 29% year-on-year to 2.3 Mt, according to preliminary US Census Bureau data. This brought 1q16 imports to 6.8 Mt, the lowest quarter since 2011 and down 36% annually.
Angola’s crude exports set to edge up in June
Angola’s crude oil exports in June are expected to average 1.7M b/d, up slightly from May’s 1.68M b/d, Reuters reports.
Colombia’s crude output falls in March
Colombia’s crude oil output slipped to 916K b/d in March, down by 38K b/d m-o-m and 102K b/d y-o-y, Argus reports, citing preliminary data from Colombia’s energy ministry. Colombia’s crude production has been pressured by the low price environment as well as industry regulations.