October sees further increase in Russian crude production
Russian crude oil production increased by a further 40 kbpd in October, to 10.34 mbpd, another post-Soviet high, Reuters reports. A cut in export duty encouraged producers to raise output in order to take advantage of the new regime.
Coal exports from Gladstone
Coal shipments from Gladstone in October rose for a third consecutive month to 5.7 Mt, port authority official data show. This marks the highest monthly export volume since August 2010. October saw a massive jump in exports to India, up 63% month-on-month to 1.3 Mt. Exports to Japan and Korea both rose 25% on September to 2 Mt and 1.0 Mt respectively, while shipments to China fell 44% month-on-month to 0.5 Mt in October.
U.S. distillate inventories fall to level 13.9% lower than year earlier
The latest data from the EIA shows a further 3.6 MB draw in U.S. distillate stocks last week, taking them to 141.9 MB, 23 MB lower than a year earlier. Distillate demand was 125 kbpd higher than a week before, at 4.37 mbpd, leaving the 13-week average 4.2% higher yoy. Exports reached 915 kbpd, up by 14 kbpd from the week before, and the third consecutive week of exports at above 900 kbpd, an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks posted a 1.4 MB increase, to 206.3 MB, as imports increased and demand continued to lag behind levels seen a year ago. Crude runs at U.S. refineries were steady from a week earlier, rising by 33 kbpd, to 14.69 mbpd, whilst overall utilisation rose to 85.3% of total capacity, up from 84.8%. Crude imports were reported as 419 kbpd lower, at 8.95 mbpd, whilst inventories posted a 1.8 MB increase, to 339.5 MB.
Canadian iron ore exports at a year-to-date high
Canada exported 3.6 Mt of iron ore in August, posting an increase of 29% month-on-month, according to data from the Tex report. August’s figure marks the highest level since November 2010. This left the 8-month export total at 20.8 Mt, up 3% from the corresponding period last year.
Russian Loading Schedule Confirms First Crude Shipment From Ust-Luga
Transneft’s latest Russian seaborne crude loading schedule confirms that the new crude terminal at the Baltic port of Ust-Luga will ship its first cargo at the end of November. A one hundred tonne cargo will load at the port between 30 November and 1 December. Overall November Baltic shipments are set to increase by 223 kbpd from October, to 1.66 mbpd, whilst Black Sea loadings are scheduled to fall by 153 kbpd, to 824 kbpd. Exports from Kozmino will see a slight increase, to 293 kbpd, up by 9 kbpd mom.
China's Purchasing Managers Index
After rising for three consecutive months, China's Purchasing Managers
Index (PMI) in October fell to 50.4 (any reading above 50 indicates an
expansion in manufacturing activity) from 51.2 in September, according
to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. This represents
the lowest level since February 2009.
Southern European Gasoline Supplies Increase
Mediterranean supplies of gasoline have increased after refiners took advantage of cheap naphtha, a gasoline blending component, and increased production, Platts reports. Low naphtha demand from the petrochemical sector has widened its discount to gasoline.
Libyan Crude Exports Seen Rising to 350 kbpd in November
According to Libya’s National Oil Company, the country’s crude exports are set to reach 350 kbpd next month, more than double the volume of shipments during October, Reuters reports. A total of 16 cargoes, 14 from NOC and two from subsidiary, Agoco, are expected to load in November. NOC’s cargoes are expected to be of a size suitable for loading onto Aframaxes, whilst Agoco’s will be carried on Suezmaxes.
Chinese State Refiners Ramp Up Production, Increase Imports to Avoid Shortages
Chinese state-run refiner Petrochina has been operating its plants at full capacity this month, amidst increasingly tight diesel supplies, reports Platts. Runs have averaged 3.0 mbpd, a 5.7% increase yoy. Meanwhile, Petrochina has boosted diesel imports, with the company’s purchases between July and October 122% higher yoy. State refiners are looking to avoid the diesel shortages similar to those that emerged towards the end of 2010, with Sinopec also looking to increase crude runs at its refineries.
Mexican Crude Production Drops in September
Mexican crude production averaged 2.49 mbpd during September, an 81 kbpd decline from the same month in 2010, according to data from state oil company, Pemex. In line with output declines, the country's September crude exports dropped by 95 kbpd yoy, to 1.24 mbpd. Despite the overall decline, exports to the Americas increased by 21 kbpd yoy, to 1.08 mbpd. Shipments to Europe, were 116 kbpd lower yoy, at 100 kbpd.
China's daily steel production sinks to 8-month low
According to the latest data from the China Iron and Steel Association, the country's daily crude steel production in the second ten days of October fell by 2% from 01-10 October to 1.80 Mt. This represents the lowest daily rate since early February.
US distillate stocks fall as strong export demand continues, domestic consumption rises
According to the latest weekly data from the EIA, U.S. distillate stocks dropped by 4.3 MB last week, to 145.5 MB, a level 13.6% lower yoy. The decline also took distillate inventories 1.6% below the five year average, the first time this has happened since the last week of November 2008. The draw came about as U.S. distillate exports continued to average over 900 kbpd. Overseas deliveries of 901 kbpd last week were slightly lower than the record 917 kbpd exported during the week before. Meanwhile, domestic demand increased by 66 kbpd, to 4.25 mbpd, up by 4.6% from the same week in 2010. Imports were 40 kbpd higher than during the week before, at 147 kbpd. Crude inputs at U.S. refineries saw a 253 kbpd increase last week, to 14.66 mbpd, thanks to increased runs on the Gulf and West Coasts. Crude stocks ended last week at 337.6 MB, up by 4.7 MB, after imports recovered to 9.37 mbpd, up by 1.45 mbpd from a week earlier. Mogas inventories fell by 1.4 mbpd, to 204.9 MB, with imports 217 kbpd higher, at 675 kbpd.
Steel price falls
The world export price for Hot Rolled Band (HRB) continued its recent decline, falling to a year-to-date low of $656/t on the late October level, down by 4% from two weeks ago, according to the latest SteelBenchmarker produced by World Steel Dynamics.
HRB prices in China fell to an 11-month low of $555/t at the end of October, down a massive 9% in just two weeks. In western Europe, the HRB price slipped 1% over the same period to a year-to-date low of $698/t, while US prices declined by 3% to $732/t.
September Indian Crude Runs Rise 4.4% yoy
According to the latest government data, Indian refineries processed 3.10 mbpd during September, a 130 kbpd increase from the same month in 2010. Significantly lower runs at Essar’s Vadinar plant were more than offset by rises at a number of IOC, BPCL and HPCL sites, as well as at Reliance’s Jamnagar plant. Government data does not include inputs at Reliance’s second, 580 kb/d, export-based Jamnagar refinery.
China coal imports by source
Coal imports from Indonesia to China in September rose for a third consecutive month to 6.7 Mt, representing the highest monthly level since December 2009. Shipments from Australia recorded a monthly increase of 0.8 Mt to 3.4 Mt. Meanwhile, coal shipments from Russia stood above 1.2 Mt for the first time since March 2010.
Long-haul movements from South Africa rose to an all-time high of 1.8 Mt in September, while coal imports from Colombia climbed to 0.5 Mt. By contrast, shipments from the US to China fell to a 10-month low of 0.1 Mt.
September Chinese Diesel Imports Up Year on Year
Latest customs data show that China’s imports and exports of diesel both averaged 47 kbpd in September. Diesel exports were 44 kbpd lower yoy, whilst imports were 10 kbpd higher, illustrating China’s move away from net exporter status.
USWC Refiners Taking Australian Grades Ahead of New Carbon Regulations
Refiners in California have begun purchasing Australian grades ahead of revisions to the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) next year, Argus reports. October and November loading cargoes of Vincent and Pyrenees grades are heading to the U.S. West Coast for the first time in almost a year. The crudes’ lower sulphur yields in comparison to local crudes are making them attractive to Californian refiners looking to avoid emission penalties. Russian crude, ESPO Blend, is likely to fall foul of the new regulations. Around 140 kbpd of the grade is set to load for shipment to the U.S. in October.
China iron ore imports by source
Shipments of iron ore to China from the three major exporters (Australia, Brazil and India) have shown a monthly increase of 2.6 Mt in September to a 6-month high of 45.3 Mt, according to data from Umetal. This was due to strong improvements in iron ore cargo availability from Australia and Brazil.
China’s iron ore imports from Australia hit a new monthly record of 28.9 Mt in September, an increase of 11% year-on-year. This helped to explain the surge in west Australia to China Capesize rates in September. Iron ore shipments from Brazil rose 10% year-on-year to a 6-month high of 12.9 Mt in September, while Indian ore to China remained at a low level, down by 19% on August to a 5-month low of 3.5 Mt.
Russian Crude Runs Fall in September
September saw Russian refineries process 4.89 mbpd of crude oil, 7.0% less than during August, Argus reports. As a result, gasoil production was 5.6% lower from a month earlier, at around 1.41 mbpd (5.55 million MT), limiting exports and adding tightness to the European middle distillate market. Runs are expected to pick up in November, with the majority of refinery maintenance having concluded.
Global crude steel production
World steel production in September was down marginally on August, but up 9.7% year-on-year to 123.6 Mt, according to the World Steel Association. The September production total brings world output in the 3q11 to 374.7 Mt, with an increase of 34.5 Mt or 10% on the corresponding 2010 level. However, 3q11 production marks the lowest quarterly level since 4q10.
Monthly production declines were seen in most of the major steel making centres except in the EU-27. After falling for three consecutive months, production in the EU-27 rose 19% month-on-month to 15.0 Mt in September, supported by significant monthly increases in Italy (+84% MoM) and France (+27% MoM). By contrast, the US steel production fell by 3% on August to a 4-month low of 7.2 Mt. Production in Asia was down 3% on the previous month to 78.2 Mt, posting the lowest level since February.
Initial BPS-2 Volumes Reduced
The volume of crude set to be shipped through Russia’s new Baltic Pipeline System-2 (BPS-2) during 2012 has been cut, according to Transneft, Reuters reports. Around 600 kbpd of crude was set to be transported along the first phase of the line, but this has been reduced to around 200 kbpd. The first tanker shipment carrying crude from the line is due to leave Ust-Luga at the end of next month.
Shell delays maintenance at Pernis refinery
Shell have delayed maintenance on a hydrocracker at its 416 kbpd Pernis refinery, in Rotterdam. The work had been scheduled from October to January, but will now be postponed until February. Shell may have taken the decision to take advantage of particularly strong regional diesel cracks, and a gasoil market in steep backwardation, with the European middle distillate market particularly tight at present.
US weekly grain exports at 6 month high
Combined weekly exports of US wheat, soyabeans and corn reached their highest level since mid-April, according to data published by the country’s Department of Agriculture. For the week ending October 13, the US exported a combined total of 2.1 Mt, a rise of 13% from the previous week, but still well below the year-ago level. This was mainly due to a significant weekly increase in exports of soyabean, up 94% week-on-week to 1.2 Mt. Meanwhile, exports of corn and wheat stood at 563,422 tonnes and 385,442 tonnes respectively.
US Weekly Data: Crude Imports Slump, Product Stocks Down
According to the latest data from the EIA, US crude imports dropped by 1.17 mbpd last week, to 7.92 mbpd. As a result, crude inventories fell by 4.7 MB from the week before, to 332.9 MB, with crude runs at US refineries 134 kbpd lower, at 14.41 mbpd. Overall refinery utilisation stood at 83.1% of capacity, down from 84.2% a week earlier. With product markets in steep backwardation, there was little incentive for refiners to hold inventories. Gasoline stocks dropped by 3.3 MB, to 206.3 MB, whilst distillate inventories were 4.3 MB lower, at 149.7 MB. Gasoline imports rose by 40 kbpd, to 458 kbpd, with distillate imports slipping by 10 kbpd, to 107 kbpd.
Coking coal exports from Canada at year-to-date high
Trade data shows a 22% monthly rise in coking coal exports from Canada in August, to 2.7 Mt. This represents the highest monthly export volume since December 2010. Canada exported 1 Mt of coking coal to Japan, posting the highest level since March 2010. Total exports in the year-to-date reached 18.2 Mt, up by 0.5 Mt or 3% year-on-year.