Indian 1Q14 imports of Iranian crude rise y-o-y
India’s imports of Iranian crude oil in 1Q14 were up 42.9% y-o-y at around 358k b/d, according to estimates by Reuters. Despite the rise, Reuters estimate that Indian crude imports from Iran in the 2013/2014 fiscal year were down 16.5% at 222k b/d.
US Grain Exports
Combined exports of corn, soyabeans and wheat from the US experienced their lowest week since September 2013 in the week ending 10 April, the US Department of Agriculture reports. Total weekly exports of 2.01 Mt compare with 2.47 Mt the previous week and show a particularly pronounced fall in soyabean outbound shipments.
Chinese Crude Steel Production
China produced 70.3 Mt of crude steel in March 2014, up 1.6 Mt year-on-year and an all-time high, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This contrasts with China Iron and Steel Association data for March which showed a daily output rate 1.6% lower than the November average. Daily crude steel output for 1-10 April 2014 recorded at 2.152 Mt, up from 2.073 Mt in 21-31 March. This is the highest level since late September 2013 and compares with 2.124 for the same period in 2013.
China’s GDP grew by 7.4% year-on-year in 1q14, down from 7.7% in 4q13 and marking an 18 month low, according to data from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. The government’s official 2014 GDP growth target is 7.5%. The Chinese premier Li Keqiang was quoted in state media saying that, in order to stimulate the economy, the reserve ratio for small banks will be cut and tax breaks designed to engineer job creation implemented, reports Reuters. This is in addition to tax breaks and greater infrastructure investment announced earlier this month.
US Steel Price Surge
According to the latest World Steel Dynamics’ SteelBenchmarker, the world export price for hot rolled band edged up $1/t at the start of April, to $551/t. Over the same period US HRB prices surged by $37/t, to 749/t, the highest price since the end of April 2012. Chinese HRB rose by $11/t to $459/t, while the price for Western Europe rose slightly, up $2/t, to $595/t.
Ukrainian Grain Exports
Interfax-Ukraine reports that Ukraine has exported 28.5 Mt of grain in the 2013/2014 marketing year (Jul-Jun) to date, up 8.4 Mt year-on-year, according to the Ukrainian Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry. This includes 18.1 Mt of corn and 8.0 Mt of wheat. Combined grain exports for the 2013/2014 marketing year are forecast to total 33.0 Mt.
As part of national efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity and combat pollution in China’s industrial heartlands, the government of the northern Chinese city of Tianjin has said it will not approve construction of any new steel, cement or non-ferrous metal plants, reports Reuters. This echoes similar stances by the governments of neighbouring Hebei province and Beijing. Tianjin and Hebei produced in excess of 200 Mt of crude steel in 2013 and are under instruction to close at least 60 Mt of low-quality steel plants over the next 2 years, although idle capacity in the region is estimated to be near 100 Mt.
South Korea’s crude imports increase y-o-y in March
South Korean imports of crude oil in March increased by 3.0% y-o-y to 2.4M b/d, according to preliminary customs data, Reuters reports. However, imports were down 7.2% m-o-m as some refiners in the country begin shutdowns for maintenance.
Norway’s oil production rises y-o-y in March
Norway’s oil production was up 6.0% y-o-y but down 1.5% m-o-m at 1.52M b/d in March, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. A new oil and gas production stream also started in early April as the Gudrun oil field came online according to Oil and Gas journal.
Russian Grain Exports
Dow Jones Newswire reports that Russia exported 21.5 Mt of grain in the 2013/2014 (Jul-Jun) marketing year to date, up 48% year-on-year, according to the Russian agriculture ministry. This includes 16.0 Mt of wheat, 3.2 Mt of corn and 2.1 Mt of barley. The agriculture ministry expects combined exports for 2013/14 to total 22.0 Mt.
EU Industrial Production
Industrial production in the EU-28 countries rose by 2.1% year-on-year in February 2014, while that of the Eurozone rose by 1.7% over the same period, according to data from Eurostat. German industrial production grew by 4.0% year-on-year in February while France’s declined by -1.0%.
IEA trims global oil demand growth forecast
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest monthly report has marginally trimmed its global oil demand forecast for 2014 to 92.7M b/d, due to downward revisions in Russian demand. Global oil supplies in March were estimated to have plunged 1.2M b/d m-o-m to 91.75M b/d as OPEC cut production but supplies were up 1.1M b/d y-o-y as higher non-OPEC supply offset declines.
Brazilian Corn and Soyabean Production Forecasts
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised up its production forecast for Brazilian corn by 2.0 Mt from March’s forecast. Total 2013/2014 production is now anticipated to be 72.0 Mt, down 9.5 Mt from 2012/2013. Brazilian soyabean production for 2013/2014 has been revised down 1.0 Mt to 87.5 Mt, however this is still up 5.5 Mt on 2012/2013.
Chinese Daily Crude Steel Production
The China Iron and Steel Association puts Chinese daily crude steel output for 21-31 March at 2.073 Mt, down from 2.096 in the period 11-20 March. This compares with a daily output of 2.072 for the same period in March 2013.
China’s crude imports fall to 5-month low in March
China’s crude oil imports declined to a 5-month low of 5.56M b/d in March but were up 2.0% y-o-y, according to China’s General Administration of Customs. Oil product imports rose 3.4% y-o-y to 2.74Mt the highest volume since May 2013, while oil product imports fell 24.3% y-o-y to their lowest levels since August 2012, at 2.37Mt.
Chinese Trade Data for March
According to Chinese customs data, in March 2014 Chinese iron ore imports totalled 74.0 Mt, taking imports for the 1q14 to an all-time high of 222.0 Mt, up 35.5 Mt year-on-year. Chinese steel exports also increased in March 2014, rising 1.5 Mt month-on-month to 6.8 Mt. As a result 1q14 exports totalled 18.3 Mt, up 3.9 Mt year-on-year, the highest quarter since 2008. Chinese coal imports (including lignite) rose by 2.5 Mt year-on-year in March 2014, to 25.3 Mt. This lifted 1q14 imports to 84.0 Mt, up 4.0 Mt year-on-year.
US crude stocks increase
US Gulf Coast crude inventories climbed 3.03M bbls w-o-w to a record of 202.0M bbls in the week ending 4 April, US Energy Information Administration data shows. National crude inventories increased by 4.0M bbls from the previous week to total 384.1M bbls. US crude imports rebounded after last week’s decline, rising 481k b/d w-o-w to 7.3M b/d, with Gulf Coast imports up 673k b/d w-o-w at 3.65M b/d.
Export Decline from Indonesia in Jan/Feb
Indonesian coal exports in the first two months of the year reached 65.1 Mt, according to data from Bank Indonesia. This represents a fall of 2.5 Mt from January/February 2013.
Furthermore, as no nickel ore or bauxite was exported from Indonesia during February 2014 as a result of the government ban on unprocessed ore exports from 12 January, the corresponding annual decline in these two cargoes over the same period was just over 10 Mt, with a combined 6.4 Mt of bauxite and nickel ore shipped in early January before the ban took effect.
World Steel Association Short Range Outlook
The World Steel Association forecasts that global apparent steel use (ASU) to rise 3.1% in 2014 and 3.3% in 2015 to 1,527 Mt and 1,576 Mt, respectively. Last year’s growth rate was 3.6%. ASU in developed economies is expected to expand by 2.5% in 2014 to 397 Mt and by 2.4% next year, following a slight contraction in 2013 of -0.3%.
Meanwhile, in emerging and developing economies ASU is predicted to rise by 3.2% to 1,130 Mt and then by a further 3.5% in 2015, a slower pace than 2013 (+5.1%). This is heavily influenced by expected developments in China, where growth of 6.1% in 2013 is predicted to slow to 3.0% this year and to 2.7% in 2015.
IMF World Economic Outlook
The latest IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts the global economy will grow 3.6% in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015, which marks a small downward revision of 0.1 percentage points from the IMF’s January projections. The rate of global growth in 2013 was 3.0%. Advanced economies are expected to grow 2.2% in 2014 and emerging and developing economies at 4.9%. GDP growth in Japan is projected at 1.4% this year, some 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous January forecast. The IMF expects economic growth in emerging and developing economies to accelerate to 5.3% in 2015.
Canadian Coking Coal Exports
According to data from McCloskey, in February 2014, Canadian coking coal exports (excluding cargoes to the US) rose by 0.2 Mt year-on-year, to 2.7 Mt. This growth included a 0.3 Mt increase, to 0.8 Mt, in exports to Japan which countered declines elsewhere.
Global oil demand increases y-o-y in March
Global oil demand was up 880k b/d y-o-y but down 2.44M b/d m-o-m in March, according to Energy Intelligence estimates. Non-OECD oil demand made up the majority of the yearly rise. Global oil supply is expected to have climbed 2.01M b/d y-o-y in the month, however it was down 553k b/d m-o-m.
Chinese Port Stockpiles
According to data from U-metal, at the end of last week, stockpiles of iron ore at 18 portside locations in China (selected by SSY for historical consistency) totalled 99.2 Mt, down 0.8 Mt week-on-week. This is the first week-on-week decline since mid-January 2014. Countrywide iron ore stockpiles at the end of last week totalled 106.9 Mt, down 1.2 Mt week-on-week.
Indian Trade Data
According to data from the Indian Ports Association, in FY2013/14 (April-March), iron ore throughput at the major ports of India totalled 24.7 Mt, down 3.8 Mt year-on-year. However, this downward trend could change in FY2014/15 if, as expected, the Indian Supreme Court rules on the lifting of an 18-month ban on mining in Goa.
Coal throughput at the major ports of India in FY2013/14 totalled 104.7 Mt, up 18.0 Mt year-on-year. This featured a 13.0 Mt increase in steam coal cargoes, to 71.6 Mt. Coking coal throughput rose by 5.1 Mt year-on-year, to 33.1 Mt.
Blockade of some Libyan ports ended
Blockades at the Libyan ports of Hariga and Zueitina (which previously accounted for around 200k b/d of export capacity) have been ended after negotiations between rebels and the government, Reuters reports. The larger ports of Ras Lanuf and El Sider (which previously shipped around 500k b/d of Libyan crude) may also be opened in the next two to four weeks depending on the outcome of further talks.