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.
Chinese Home Prices Decline
New home prices in China fell from the previous month in 64 of 70 cities in July 2014, the greatest number since January 2011, when the current data series began, according to National Bureau of Statistics data. Prices in Beijing fell 1% month-on-month in July, the first such decline since April 2012.
Goa to Auction Iron Ore
On 19 August 2014 the government of Goa is to hold an e-auction of 3.3 Mt of iron ore currently stockpiled at Mormugao Port and other sites in the state, Steelguru reports. This follows three previous e-auctions of iron ore earlier in the year when a total of 1.7 Mt of ore was sold. The current e-auction had been delayed due to weak iron ore prices.
US Industrial Production
US industrial production rose by 5.0% year-on-year in July 2014, according to data from the US Federal Reserve. This is the largest increase since April 2012. This also marked a 0.4% month-on-month gain, the sixth successive month-on-month increase.
Ukrainian Grain Exports Surge
Ukraine’s grain exports for the period 1 July-14 August totalled 3.3 Mt, up around 40% year-on-year, according to media reports citing the country’s agriculture ministry. These exports included 1.3 Mt of barley, 1.6 Mt of wheat and 0.4 Mt of corn.
China’s implied oil demand falls m-o-m
China’s implied oil demand in July declined by 6% m-o-m to 9.57M b/d, according to Reuters calculations. This represents a 2% y-o-y decline. Meanwhile, Russia’s gasoil exports in July fell by 9% m-o-m to 2M mt (506K b/d), Argus reports. Outlets in Russia’s Far East experienced the largest decline, falling over a quarter to 71K b/d due to increasing domestic sales.
European Economic Growth Slows
Year-on-year GDP growth in the Eurozone and the EU in the 2q14 as a whole both slowed by 0.2 percentage points from the annual growth rate of the 1q, to 0.7% and 1.2%, respectively, according to data from Eurostat. Annual German GDP expansion slowed to 1.3% in the 2q14, while growth in France was negligible (0.1%) and Italy’s GDP continued to shrink (-0.3%). Meanwhile, GDP expanded at a faster pace in both the UK (3.1%) and Spain (1.2%).
Sharp Drop in UK Coal Imports
UK coal imports fell to their lowest level since September 2012 in June 2014 at 2.7 Mt, down 1.0 Mt year-on-year, according to data from McCloskey. This was primarily due to a 0.9 Mt drop in steam coal cargoes, to 2.2 Mt, the lowest total since July 2011. Meanwhile, coking coal imports fell by 0.1 Mt year-on-year to 0.5 Mt.
Global refinery crude runs fall y-o-y
Global refinery crude runs in July were down 1.7M b/d y-o-y for the second straight month at 77.98M b/d, Energy Intelligence reports. European crude runs were down 1.1M b/d y-o-y also for the second consecutive month, with OECD Europe crude runs at 11.22M b/d. OECD Asia crude runs fell 360K b/d from July 2013’s average to 6.27M b/d. Non-OECD Asian crude runs were down 523K b/d y-o-y at 19.42M b/d.
China’s crude runs fall m-o-m
China’s processing of crude oil in refineries in July fell by 5% m-o-m to 9.71M b/d, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics showed. However the volume is up 1.9% y-o-y.
World Steel Price
The Western European domestic price for hot rolled band rose by $10/t at the start of August 2014 to $576/t however, it is still down $3/t month-on-month, the latest World Steel Dynamics’ Steelbenchmarker shows. US and Chinese HRB prices also strengthened at the start of August, up $7/t and $2/t, to $749/t and $452/t, respectively.
Chinese Steel Production
China’s crude steel production fell to a 5-month low of 68.3 Mt in July 2013, although it was still up 1.0 Mt year-on-year, according to official statistics. Chinese output forJanuary-July totalled 480.3 Mt, up 13.6 Mt year-on-year.
Steel Production Update
Germany’s monthly steel production in July 2014 fell to its lowest level since August last year, at 3.5 Mt, although output was still up 1.5% year-on-year, according to WV Stahl, the country’s steel association. Production for January-July was up 3.8% on the same period in 2013 at 25.9 Mt.
Meanwhile, India’s steel output rose by 0.2% year-on-year in July, to 6.9 Mt, according to official data quoted by Indian media. Production for April-July was up 0.9% year-on-year at 27.4 Mt.
IEA cuts 2014 & 2015 global oil demand growth forecasts
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest monthly report has lowered its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast to 1.0m b/d. This would put 2014 demand at 92.7M b/d. The decline is due to weaker than expected 2Q14 growth of 0.7M b/d, the lowest since 1Q12 and weaker economic expansion, with the IMF revising down 2014 global GDP growth to 3.4%. The IEA has trimmed its projections for 2015 growth by 90K b/d to 1.3M b/d, due to lower consumption estimates for China, Japan and Russia.
Chinese Steel Stocks
Inventories of steel in the major cities of China fell slightly at the end of last week to 12.8 Mt, according to data from U-metal. This is their lowest level since late December 2012 and is 2.2 Mt lower than the same week in 2013. Steel inventories have now fallen every week since the end of February 2014.
Canadian Coal Exports
Canada exported 3.2 Mt of coal in June 2014 (excl. US cargoes), down 4% month-on-month and slightly down year-on-year, according to data from McCloskey. Coking coal exports were up 6% year-on-year at 2.8 Mt with higher shipments to China (+33% to a 7-month high of 0.8 Mt) and India (+197% to 0.2 Mt) helping to negate a halving of exports to South Korea (-50% to 0.4 Mt). Steam coal exports fell by 30% year-on-year in June, to 0.4 Mt, primarily due to a sharp drop in exports to Japan (-31% to 0.2 Mt).
Kozmino exports scheduled to hit record high in September
Kozmino’s crude loadings in September are set to increase by 90K b/d m-o-m to nearly 620K b/d, Argus reports. A record 25 cargoes are expected to load during the month, with loadings from the port already up by almost 60K b/d over the last 2 months. The closure of the 130K b/d Achinsk refinery following an accident in June was noted as a factor in the rise. The refinery was initially expected to remain closed until November but it now appears likely that a partial restart will occur later in August.
China’s crude imports decrease in July
China crude oil imports in July decreased marginally m-o-m to 5.62M b/d, according to the country’s General Administrations of Customs. The volume is down from July 2013’s average 6.17M b/d. Oil product imports fell by 21.2% from the previous month to 1.86M mt. Oil product exports meanwhile, rose by 2.7% m-o-m to 2.31M mt, the highest since March.
Chinese Trade Data
Chinese iron ore imports rose to a 3-month high of 82.5 Mt in July 2014, up 9.4 Mt year-on-year, according to official data. Meanwhile, steel exports from China also rose in July, up 2.9 Mt year-on-year, to 8.1 Mt. China’s steel exports for the period January-July totalled 49.1 Mt, up a massive 13.2 Mt on the same period in 2013.
China’s coal imports fell to 5-month low of 23.0 Mt in July, down 5.6 Mt year-on-year, however, soya (beans & meal) imports rose to an all-time high of 7.5 Mt, up 0.3 Mt year-on-year.