Urals exports set to rise m-o-m in September
Exports of Urals crude in September are scheduled to increase by 14% m-o-m to 1.98M b/d, Argus reports. The rise is due in part to domestic Russian refinery maintenance which should free up around 460K b/d for exports. Meanwhile Uganda has raised its oil reserves estimates by 85% to 6.5bn bbls, Reuters reports. The country expects to begin pumping crude by 2017.
German Coking Coal Imports Rise
German coking coal imports surged to 1.2 Mt in June, up 58% year-on-year and the highest total since July 2008, according to data from McCloskey. By contrast, steam coal shipments were down 8% at 2.4 Mt.
Japanese Economic Update
Japanese industrial production rose by 0.2% month-on-month in July, according to official data. This was below the 1.0% projected by a Reuters poll. This weak data was reflected in a 1.7% fall in output by Japanese car makers in July, to 0.9 million units, the first decline in 11 months. Domestic car sales fell by 2.5%, while there was a slight increase in exports, the first for 8 months.
US GDP Growth Upgraded
The US Department of Commerce has revised up its US GDP growth estimate in the 2q14 to an annual rate of 4.2%, up from an initial estimate of 4.0%. This marks the fastest rate of growth since the 3q13. According to Reuters, economists had been expecting growth to be downgraded to around 3.9%. US GDP had contracted by 2.1% in the 1q14.
Japanese Steel Exports Decline
Japanese steel exports fell to a three-month low of 3.3 Mt in July, down 0.3 Mt year-on-year, according to data from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. Steel exports for January-July totalled 24.1 Mt, down 2.0 Mt on the same period in 2013.
Nigeria’s crude exports set to fall
Nigeria’s crude oil exports in October are expected to fall 3.7% m-o-m to average 1.83M b/d according to loading programmes, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, Angola’s exports are scheduled to average 1.7M b/d, down from 1.77M b/d in September.
US Gulf Coast crude runs hit new record high
US Gulf Coast crude oil refinery inputs edged higher w-o-w to a new record of 8.75M b/d in the week ending 22 August, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Total US refinery inputs rose by 124K b/d w-o-w to average 16.5M b/d. US crude oil inventories declined by 2.1M bbls from the previous week to total 360.5M bbls, the lowest since January. US crude imports increased by 174K b/d w-o-w to average 7.6M b/d.
Chinese Steel Price Falls
The Chinese domestic price for hot rolled band fell by $7/t at the end of August to $445/t, its lowest price since early November 2009, the latest World Steel Dynamics’ Steelbenchmarker shows. The Western European HRB price also declined sharply, falling $8/t to $568/t, while the US price was down $3/t at $746/t.
Colombian Steam Coal Exports
Colombian steam coal exports climbed to a 13-month high of 7.3 Mt in July, up 0.4 Mt year-on-year, according to data from McCloskey. This featured exports to the Americas rising to their highest level since October 2010 at 2.4 Mt, up 0.6 Mt year-on-year, with the 0.74 Mt shipped to the US forming the highest monthly total since August 2011. Exports to Europe climbed to an 8-month high of 4.9 Mt.
European refinery maintenance set to peak in September
Europe’s refinery turnarounds are set to peak in September, when 726K b/d of crude capacity is expected to undergo maintenance, Argus reports. A third of the closures are expected to occur in the West Mediterranean region. Around 580K b/d of capacity is scheduled to shut in October, including 168K b/d in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Iraq has started pumping crude oil from the Halfaya and Missan fields through a new 1M b/d pipeline to the southern al-Fao port.
China Daily Crude Steel Output
China’s daily crude steel output rose to 2.335 Mt in the period 11-20 August, according to data from the China Iron and Steel Association reported by CUsteel. This is up from 2.325 Mt in the preceding 10 days and compares with 2.118 Mt for the same period in 2013.
Indonesian Trade Update
Indonesia’s coal exports fell to a 4-month low of 33.9 Mt in June 2014, up by a marginal 0.1 Mt year-on-year, according to Bank Indonesia. Coal exports in the 1h14 totalled 209.6 Mt, down 5.0 Mt on the same period in 2013, a significant development for ship demand in the Pacific during the 1h14.
Singapore’s clean imports fall m-o-m in July
Singapore’s total clean imports (excluding fuel oil) in July decreased by 125K b/d m-o-m to 567K b/d, according to data from the country’s International Enterprise. Imports from Northeast Asia the country’s largest supplier fell by 82K b/d m-o-m to 359K b/d. Imports from the Middle East Gulf and Subcontinent were down 89K b/d m-o-m at 60K b/d. Imports from Europe and the Former Soviet Union increased by 27K b/d to 40K b/d. While imports from Southeast Asia rose by 20K b/d to 107K b/d.
Indian Trade Data
According to trade data from the Indian Ports Association, iron ore throughput at the major Indian ports plunged 44% year-on-year in July, to 1.4 Mt. However, this was still up slightly month-on-month. Coking and steam coal throughput rose slightly to 2.7 Mt and 6.6 Mt in July, up 4% and 3%, respectively.
Chinese Minor Bulk Imports
Chinese imports of bauxite, alumina, steel scrap, fertiliser and wood pulp, together with nickel, manganese, copper and chromium ores, totalled 14.4 Mt in July, the highest total since January 2014 when Indonesia introduced a ban on the export of unprocessed mineral ores. Bauxite imports from India were 0.9 Mt in July, the highest since July 2013, although total bauxite imports were still around half the level they were a year ago. Nickel ore imports from the Philippines also had a strong month, rising 27% year-on-year to 5.0 Mt.
China’s crude imports from West Africa increase
China’s crude oil imports from West Africa in July increased by 83K b/d m-o-m to 1.06M b/d, according to data from the country’s General Administration of Customs. Imports of Caribbean crude dropped by 200K b/d m-o-m to 330K b/d, the lowest volume since August 2012. In contrast, imports of Latin American crude increased by 102K b/d m-o-m to a year to date high of 248K b/d. Imports of Middle Eastern crudes declined marginally m-o-m to 3.18M b/d.
Chinese Iron Ore Imports Breakdown
Of the 82.5 Mt or iron ore imported into China in July some 50.4 Mt of iron ore was shipped from Australia, up 33% year-on-year and an all-time high, according to data from China Customs. Cargoes from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mauritania combined also increased sharply, rising 33% to 2.8 Mt. Imports from Brazil and South Africa rose slightly, to 14.1 Mt and 4.3 Mt, up 7% and 3%, respectively, while those from Canada dropped by 24% to 0.9 Mt.
The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a 3-month low of 50.3 in August 2014. This compares with a final Manufacturing PMI reading for July of 51.7 and was below some analysts’ expectations, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the Markit Flash Eurozone Composite PMI posted a 2-month low of 52.8 in August. This is down from the final July reading of 53.8 but is the 14th month in succession above the 50.0 benchmark (indicating an expansion in activity).
US Gulf Coast crude runs hit record high
US Gulf Coast refinery inputs climbed 177K b/d w-o-w to a record 8.74M b/d in the week ending 15 August, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Total US refinery inputs were up 204K b/d from the previous week averaging 16.4M b/d. US crude oil inventories declined by 4.5M bbls w-o-w to total 362.5M bbls, the lowest since February. US crude imports decreased by 387K b/d w-o-w to average 7.5M b/d.
World Steel Production
Crude steel output for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association totalled 136.8 Mt in July 2014, up 1.7% year-on-year. Steel output for the first 7 months of 2014 was 959.7 Mt, up 2.4% on the same period in 2013.
There was a 2.0% annual drop in EU steel production in July, to 13.3 Mt, as declines in Italian (-3.6% to 2.0 Mt) and UK (-4.4% to 1.0 Mt) output helped negate production rises in Germany (+1.5% to 3.4 Mt) and France (+1.6% to 1.4 Mt). Russian steel production surged to 6.2 Mt (+8.1%), while output also increased in the US (+2.3% to 7.6 Mt). In Asia, South Korean output continued to rise (+6.2% to 5.9 Mt) while in Japan it was flat at 9.3 Mt and, as previously reported, July saw a moderate year-on-year increase in Chinese steel output (+1.5% to 68.3 Mt).
Brazilian Port Congestion
The number of Panamaxes waiting to load grain in Brazil has dropped to the lowest level since the beginning of January 2014 at 21 vessels, according to SSY’s estimates using local sources. This contrasts sharply with the same point in 2013 when 102 vessels were waiting. Meanwhile, the number of geared vessels waiting to discharge fertilisers or load other cargoes, such as grain, has risen to 75, the largest number since mid-October 2013.
Chinese Daily Crude Steel Production
According to data from the China Iron and Steel Association, reported by Reuters, Chinese daily crude steel output for 1-10 August 2014 was 2.325 Mt, up from 2.269 Mt in the last 10 days of July. This compares with a daily output of 2.140 Mt for the same period in August 2013.
Libya’s oil output continues to rise
Libya’s oil production has risen to 535K b/d, according to a spokesman from the country’s National Oil Corporation, Reuters reports. This is up from output of 400K b/d last week and due to growing output at the El Sharara and El Feel fields. But is still less than a third of peak output of around 1.6M b/d. Meanwhile, both the 220K b/d Ras Lanuf and the 350K b/d Es Sider ports have now begun loadings.
Iraqi Kurdistan oil pipeline capacity set to double
Iraqi Kurdistan’s independent oil pipeline capacity is expected to double to at least 200K b/d by the end of the month, Reuters reports. So far 7.8M bbls of Iraqi Kurdish oil have flowed through the independent pipeline, of which 6.5M bbls have been loaded onto tankers for export from the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
Asian demand for Iraqi crude increases
Asian purchases of Iraqi Basra Light accounted for 66% of overall Iraqi exports of 2.45M b/d in July, Argus reports. This is the highest since March’s 75%. China, the top buyer of the grade raised purchases to 571K b/d. European buying was steady at 18%, with Southern European purchases up 10% m-o-m to 326K b/d. Exports to the Americas declined to 15%, the lowest since April. However US West Coast purchases increased by 45% due to a rise in local medium crude prices.