Indian Iron Ore Ban Update
According to India's Economic Times, the country's Supreme Court has granted permission for iron ore already stockpiled at Karnataka's ports to be shipped. Estimates from the Federation of Indian Mining Industries quoted by Reuters put these stocks at 300-400,000 tonnes. However, the Karnataka state government still has until end-March to implement new export regulations aimed at eliminating unlicensed mining.
The Karnataka iron ore export ban has been in place since July last year.
North Queensland Coal Exports
Coal exports from the Australian terminal of Hay Point in January fell by 30% month-on-month to 1.75 Mt, according to official data. This represented the lowest level since March 2010 and was 48% than in January 2010. Meanwhile, exports from Dalrymple Bay in January dropped 5% month-on-month to 3.80 Mt but were 24% lower year-on-year.
IEA Oil Demand Forecasts Revised Up
In its latest monthly report, the IEA has made a 120 kb/d upward revision to both its 2010 and 2011 global oil demand forecasts. Demand for last year is now estimated at 87.8 mb/d, equivalent to a 2.8 mb/d rise year-on-year, whilst this year demand is forecast at 89.3 mb/d. The revision was made in light of Chinese demand reaching another record high in December, as well as a more encouraging economic outlook for the US. The agency's OECD demand forecast is revised up by 20 kb/d in 2010, to 46.1 mb/d, and by 90 kb/d in 2011, to 46.0 mb/d. Non-OECD demand forecasts are increased by 60 kb/d to 41.7 mb/d in 2010, and 43.2 mb/d in 2011.
US Weekly Data: Mogas Stocks Continue to Climb
According to the latest data from the EIA, US mogas inventories gained a further 4.7 MB last week, reaching a total of 240.9 MB that was 4.6% higher year-on-year. Stocks have grown in recent weeks amidst sluggish demand and moves by refiners to produce more mogas ahead of maintenance during the spring. Mogas imports fell by 136 kb/d to 1.04 mb/d over the same period. Distillate inventories increased by 300 KB to 164.4 MB last week, whilst imports dropped slightly from 318 kb/d to 296 kb/d. Meanwhile, crude inventories saw a 1.9 MB build, reaching 345.1 MB. Imports dropped 105 kb/d to an average of 8.91 mb/d. Crude inputs at US refineries were relatively stable last week, rising by 42 kb/d to 14.34 mb/d, whilst overall refinery utilisation reached 84.7% of total capacity, up from 84.5% the week before.
USDA Latin American Grain Forecasts
Poor growing conditions have led the US Department of Agriculture to lower its forecast for Argentinean soyabean and coarse grain exports in 2010/11 (Oct-Sep) by a combined 1.87 Mt to 56.4 Mt. These downward revisions have been fully offset by increased forecasts for Brazilian soyabeans (+1.0 Mt to 32.3 Mt) and coarse grain (+1.0 Mt from to 9.0 Mt).
FSU Crude Exports Surge During December
Exports of crude oil from the Former Soviet Union reached an average of 6.98 mb/d during December, a 418 kb/d increase from November, Argus reports. Exports from Baltic ports rose by 164 kb/d mom to 1.62 mb/d. Black Sea shipments increased by 63 kb/d mom to 961 kb/d, whilst exports from the Russian Far Eastern port of Kozmino were stable at 325 kb/d. Shipments along the CPC pipeline climbed 140 kb/d mom to 805 kb/d, whilst BTC pipeline exports rose 41 kb/d mom to 807 kb/d. Last year as a whole saw FSU crude exports rise by 137 kb/d yoy, to an average of 6.75 mb/d.
More recently, the newly-opened pipeline between Russia and northeast China shipped an average of 312 kb/d of ESPO Blend during January, its first month of full operation, Bloomberg reports.
Revised January data shows record bulk fleet growth
January saw a record amount of newbuilding deliveries with vessels totalling 10.9 Mdwt entering the dry bulk fleet, according to updated SSY data. This compares with the previous high of 8.2 Mdwt in July 2010 and 6.7 Mdwt in December. The increase was led by the Capesize sector with 36 new vessels of 6.2 Mdwt. There were also 23 Panamaxes (1.86 Mdwt), 33 Supramaxes (1.87 Mdwt) and 29 Handysizes (0.9 Mdwt) delivered in January.
Richard's Bay Coal Exports
Exports from Richard's Bay Coal Terminal dropped 7% month-on-month in January to 4.39 Mt, according to official data. This represented the lowest level since June 2010 and was 0.48 Mt lower year-on-year. Coal stocks at the port currently amount to 1.76 Mt compared with 1.66 Mt a month earlier
Iraqi surge leads January OPEC production rise
OPEC crude oil production reached 29.81 mb/d in January, a 410 kb/d increase from December output, Argus reports. The rise comes largely on the back of a 320 kb/d month-on-month increase to Iraqi production, which averaged 2.73 mb/d during January. Other smaller gains were made in the UAE, Venezuela, Angola and Ecuador. Nigeria, where production fell by 20 kb/d to 2.33 mb/d, was the only member state to see a fall in output. Excluding Iraq, which is not included in quota calculations, OPEC production for the month was 2.24 mb/d above target.
Japanese 2010 Crude Imports Up Year-on-Year
Japanese crude imports increased by 60 kb/d yoy to 3.71 mb/d in 2010, Energy Intel reports. The increase came largely as a result of the start of shipments of ESPO Blend from Russia, as well as increased volumes from Iraq.
Japanese Coal Imports
Japanese imports of coal in December totalled 16.0 Mt which represented a month-on-month increase of 0.7 Mt to the highest amount since August, trade data show. On an annual basis, coal imports in 2010 were 14% higher year-on-year at 184.6 Mt due to increases in imports of coking coal (+17% at 76.7 Mt), thermal coal (+11% at 101.7 Mt) and anthracite coal (+48% at 6.2 Mt). Australia remained the largest supplier of coal to Japan at 117.5 Mt, (+14% year-on-year) while shipments from the US jumped 263% to 3.1 Mt.
Indian December Crude Imports Up on Month
According to the latest government data, India imported 2.60 mb/d of crude oil during December; a 300 kb/d increase from volume's received in November. December product imports totalled 1.50 million MT, up from 1.40 million MT the month before. Meanwhile, product exports reached 2.00 million MT, up 1.97 million MT month-on-month. Government data does not include imports or exports from Reliance's refineries at Jamnagar.
Australian Monthly Iron Ore Exports up 13%
Australian exports of iron ore in December hit a record high of 40.5 Mt (wet basis), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This marks a rise of 4.7 Mt from 35.8 Mt in November. Chinese imports of Australian ore were 2.4 Mt higher month-on-month in December at 28.6 Mt, while shipments to Japan grew 1.7 Mt to 7.1 Mt over the same period. The total for 2010 now stands at 421.9 Mt up 11% on 2009.
Iraqi Crude Output Continues to Grow As Kurdish Exports Restart
For the first time since 2009, crude oil has been exported from fields in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, Bloomberg reports. Around 10 KB was today shipped along a pipeline that connects the field to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Shipments will increase gradually over the next ten days, ultimately reaching 100 kb/d. The restart of exports from the semi-autonomous region will contribute to significant Iraqi output growth this year. The country's oil ministry anticipates production to exceed 3.0 mb/d by the end of this year, up from 2.4 mb/d at the end of 2010. Kurdish exports were halted in late 2009 as a result of a dispute over payments between Baghdad and the region's local government.
Japanese Steel Exports
Japanese iron and steel exports grew 26% year-on-year in 2010 to a record high of 43.4 Mt, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. Annual exports to South Korea were up 11.5% on 2009 at 10.9 Mt compared to 2009 while those to China increased 16.2% to 7.5 Mt over the same period. Exports to Thailand grew the most however, rising 62% in 2010 to 4.83 Mt. Meanwhile, total December iron and steel exports grew 3.4% month-on-month to 2.5 Mt.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi made landfall between 1500 & 1600 GMT just south of Cairns on February 2 as a category 5 storm, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Current wind speeds are just under 300 km/h. Further flooding rains are expected and the cyclone has already cut power to over 89,000 people in the area, Bloomberg reports. Bloomberg adds that at least 32 coal ships have headed out to sea following the closure of Hay Point and Abbot Point. The storm will last for approximately three days as it heads inland, weakening to a tropical low late on February 4.
US Weekly Data: Mogas Inventories Surge
According to the latest data from the EIA, US mogas stocks jumped 6.2 MB last week to 236.2 MB. A reduction in travel during the recent cold weather, as well as seasonal restocking, led to the biggest jump in inventories in over a year. Over the same period, mogas imports surged by 529 kb/d to 1.17 mb/d. The freezing temperatures also prompted a 1.6 MB drop in distillate stocks, which ended the week at 164.1 MB. Imports rose by 64 kb/d to 318 kb/d. Meanwhile, crude inventories posted a 2.6 MB rise, reaching 343.2 MB. Crude inputs at the country's refineries increased by 175 kb/d to 14.30 mb/d, whilst overall refinery utilisation stood at 84.5% of total capacity, up from 81.8% the week before.
Turkish Coal Imports
Turkish coal imports in December rose 1.1 Mt month-on-month to 2.9 Mt, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. This took annual coal imports to 22.0 Mt, 1.9 Mt higher than in 2009. Imports of steam coal in 2010 grew 1.0 Mt year-on-year to 16.1 Mt while steam coal imports were 0.4 Mt higher over the same period at 5.0 Mt. Russia remained Turkey's largest source of steam coal at 9.8 Mt in 2010 compared with 8.8 Mt in 2009. Imports of coking coal from the US grew 84% year-on-year to 2.5 Mt.
Russian Seaborne Crude Exports Set to Rise In February
According to the latest loading schedule from Transneft, Russian seaborne crude exports will average 2.70 mb/d this month, up 156 kb/d from January's planned shipments and a 48 kb/d increase year-on-year, Energy Intel reports. The month-on-month rise is the first in five months and comes largely as a result of a 166 kb/d mom increase at Gdansk. The Polish port had no exports scheduled in January, although the redirection of volumes initially planned for delivery to Belarus meant that ultimately shipments were made. Total Baltic Sea exports are planned at 1.45 mb/d this month, up 172 kb/d mom and 35 kb/d yoy. Black Sea shipments are set to average 967 kb/d, a 21 kb/d fall mom and down 13 kb/d yoy. Exports from Kozmino, at 288 kb/d, are stable compared with January, but up 26 kb/d from a year earlier.
China's 2010 Crude Suppliers: Angola Closes Gap On Saudi Arabia
Angola increased its exports of crude oil to China to 791 kb/d in 2010, a 145 kb/d increase year-on-year, according to the latest Chinese customs statistics. Saudi Arabia remains China's main source of crude, providing 896 kb/d last year, a 53 kb/d rise yoy. Elsewhere, Oman, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Brazil all saw significant increases in their volumes shipped to China last year. The only major source to see its volumes drop was Iran, which provided 428 kb/d last year, down 37 kb/d from 2009. The Middle Eastern country does, however, retain its position as China's third largest crude supplier.
Oil Breaks $100/bbl Barrier
The price of Brent crude has broken the $100/bbl level for the first time since October 2008, as unrest in Egypt has led to fears of disruption to the Suez canal and the SUMED pipeline, as well as of a spread of disturbances to nearby oil-producing countries.
Record Newbuilding Arrivals in January
January saw a record amount of newbuilding deliveries with vessels totalling 8.71 Mdwt entering the dry bulk fleet, according to preliminary SSY data. This compares with the previous high of 8.2 Mdwt in July 2010 and 6.7 Mdwt in December. The increase was led by the Capesize sector with 29 new vessels of 5.0 Mdwt. There were also 16 Panamaxes, 30 Supramaxes and 23 Handysizes delivered in January (figures likely to be subject to upward revision).
Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi
Queensland is bracing itself for further heavy rainfall and gale force winds as Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi gathers strength on its way towards the northeast Australian coast. Currently a category three cyclone, Yasi is expected to strengthen to category four by the time it makes landfall between Cooktown and Yeppoon on February 2, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Cyclone Anthony, currently off the northeast coast of Australia, is expected to turn to the southwest and intensify before making landfall between the Queensland towns of Innisfail and St Lawrence on Sunday evening, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Having just begun to recover from recent floods, Queensland's central coalfield areas such as Emerald are now facing the possibility of further rainfall delaying their return to full operation. Meanwhile, Cyclone Bianca is expected to hit the Southwest Australian coast around Perth on Sunday evening.
South Korean 2010 Crude Imports Up 4.5% Year-On-Year
South Korea imported an average of 2.39 mb/d of crude oil during 2010, a 4.5% increase from 2009, Energy Intel reports. The year ended with December imports averaging 2.51 mb/d, a 10.0% increase year-on-year. Lead supplier, Saudi Arabia, saw its December shipments to the Far Eastern country rise 9.3% yoy to 742 kb/d. Over the same period, imports from Qatar surged 79.9% yoy to 286 kb/d. Shipments from Kuwait and Iran fell by 12.2% yoy to 237 kb/d, and by 20.9% yoy to 178 kb/d respectively. December imports from Russia fell by 38.3% yoy to 71 kb/d, but surged almost 80% to 137 kb/d for the year as a whole, thanks to the commencements of shipments of ESPO Blend from Kozmino.