US steel imports
US steel imports in September fell for the second consecutive month, down 3% month-on-month to 1.9 Mt, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Despite the recent decline, this brings imports in the 3q10 to 6.1 Mt, representing the highest quarterly total since 4q08.
Maintenance Sees Indian Refinery Runs Fall in September
The latest data from the Indian government reveals that the country's refineries processed 2.97 mb/d during September, a 10.2% decline year-on-year, Dow Jones reports. The data does not take into account runs at Reliance's second plant at Jamnagar, which processes 580 kb/d. Output at the company's main Jamnagar refinery fell by 8.6% y-o-y to 666 kb/d. Production at Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) refineries fell 19.8% y-o-y to 828 kb/d, largely as a result of the shutdown at the 240 kb/d Panipat refinery. Elsewhere, maintenance to a CDU at Visakhapatnam saw Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HPCL) output fall 21% y-o-y September to 256 kb/d.
World HRB price continues to fall
The world export price for HRB (hot-rolled band) steel has fallen to a 2-month low of $607/t, according to the latest SteelBenchmarker from World Steel Dynamics. Declines were observed in all of the main markets with US HRB prices suffering the most severe setback, down $24/t (-4%) from two weeks ago to a year-to-date low of $607/t. HRB prices in the EU and China dropped $6/t (-2%) and $9/t (-1%) from mid-October respectively to $694/t and $539/t. Despite the recent decline, the world HRB export price is still $104/t (+21%) higher than the year-ago level.
US Weekly Data: Crude Stocks Build As Imports Surge
According to the latest data from the EIA, US crude stocks saw a 5.0 MB build last week to 366.2 MB, as imports reached 9.46 mb/d, an 863 kb/d increase from the week before. Crude inputs at the country's refineries increased by 171 kb/d to 14.14 mb/d over the same period, whilst units were operated at 83.7% of total capacity, up from 82.5%. Meanwhile, mogas stocks fell to 214.9 MB, a 4.4 MB draw, despite imports increasing by 220 kb/d to reach 999 kb/d. Distillate stocks declined by 1.6 MB to 168.4 MB, whilst imports rose by 50 kb/d to an average of 190 kb/d.
China's domestic iron ore production
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, domestic iron ore production in September slipped 6.0 Mt month-on-month to 93.6 Mt, but still 8.1 Mt higher than the year-ago level. The annualised rate from the first nine months puts production on course to reach 1034 Mt, which would be represent a new record.
Chinese coking coal imports at 8-month low
September coking coal imports into China rose 7.5% from August to an 8-month high of 4.2 Mt, but down 2.6% from the year-ago level, according to Chinese Customs data. Most of the increase came from Australia, at more than double the previous month to 1.8 Mt. Trade data also showed monthly declines in September imports from long-haul suppliers: Canada (-58% to 0.15 Mt, the lowest level since February 2010) and the USA (-70% to a 5-month low of 0.13 Mt).
Meanwhile, Chinese steam coal imports rose to a 6-month high of 8.9 Mt in September. Imports from Australia surged from 0.8 Mt in August to 2.0 Mt, the highest level since November 2009. China imported 4 Mt of coal from Indonesia, unchanged from the previous month. Long-haul shipments from South Africa hit an all-time high of 1.1 Mt in September.
China Raises Fuel Prices By Three Percent
The Chinese government has raised the maximum price of mogas, diesel and jet fuel in response to the recent rise in crude oil prices, Dow Jones reports. The maximum retail price for mogas will rise by CNY230/t to CNY7,990/t, for diesel by CNY220/t to CNY7,260/t. Ex-refinery prices for No. 3 jet kerosene will increase by CNY200 to CNY5,690/t. The hikes represent the country's first fuel price change in over four months.
Chinese iron ore imports by source
Iron ore shipments from Australia into China rose 34% month-on-month to a year-to-date high of 26.0 Mt in September, according to data from China's customs cited by Reuters. China imported 11.8 Mt of iron ore from Brazil, up 18% from August. Meanwhile, imports from India fell for the sixth consecutive month, down 6% month-on-month to 4.8 Mt, the lowest volume on this trade since November 2008.
Reichstett Refinery Follows Dunkirk In Ceasing Operations
Petroplus is to shut its 82 kb/d refinery at Reichstett, in the Alsace region of France, Argus reports. The plant will be converted into a storage terminal after Petroplus were unable to find a buyer, having deemed further investment in the refinery unjustifiable. Operations at Reichstett were already partially shut down as a result of strike action. Meanwhile, the shutdown at Total's Dunkirk refinery will become permanent after courts overturned an earlier ruling that the company did not follow correct consultation procedures prior to ceasing operations at the 156 kb/d plant.
CPC Blend Exports to Rise Slightly in November
Exports of CPC Blend crude from the Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka terminal near to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk are scheduled at 690 kb/d during November, a 10 kb/d rise from planned exports during October, Dow Jones reports.
ESPO Export Schedule: Nov & Dec
Exports of ESPO Blend from Kozmino are scheduled at 308 kb/d during November and at 343 kb/d during December. November will see Rosneft complete the filling of the Chinese spur of the ESPO pipeline.
US Weekly Data: Further Draws To Distillate Inventories, Crude and Mogas Build
The latest data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals that the country's distillate stocks declined by 2.2 MB last week to a total of 170.1 MB. Over the same period, distillate imports fell by 48 kb/d to 140 kb/d. Meanwhile, mogas stocks saw a 1.2 MB build to 219.3 MB, whilst imports rose 71 kb/d to an average of 779 kb/d. Crude stocks were also up, increasing by 700 KB to 360.5 MB, as imports rose by 472 kb/d to 8.6 mb/d. Inputs of crude oil at US refineries were up slightly by 47 kb/d to 13.97 mb/d. Overall refinery utilisation increased from 81.9% to 82.5% of total capacity.
Chinese Naphtha Demand Up Significantly in 2010
Healthy demand for manufactured goods has seen Chinese apparent naphtha demand rise by more than 200 kb/d year-on-year to 630 kb/d during January-August of this year, Argus reports. Nevertheless, demand growth has flattened in recent months as the government has taken steps to prevent the economy expanding too rapidly. Up until last year, China was a net exporter of naphtha, but increasing demand saw net imports reach 40 kb/d in 2009.
World Steel Production at 7-Month Low
Global steel output fell in September for the fourth consecutive month to 111.7 Mt, the lowest level since February this year, according to data from the World Steel Association. Output in China sank to 47.95 Mt, down 7% on the August total and 6% lower than the year-ago level. Month-on-month growth, however, was most in evidence in the EU-27, where steel mills produced 14.3 Mt, up 2 Mt on August.
Iron ore exports from India fall
Indian iron ore exports in September dropped 47% year-on-year to 3.0 Mt, according to Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) data cited by Reuters. This takes total exports in April-September (2010/2011) to 40.3 Mt, an 8.4% decline year-on-year. Meanwhile, FIMI predicts that iron ore exports in 2010/11 will fall 25-30% from the record volume of 117.4 Mt in the last fiscal year.
Reuters reported that the High Court in Karnataka has yet to rule over the legality of the iron ore export ban imposed by the state government.
French Strikes Could Prompt Further Draws to Already Reduced European Distillate Stocks
Middle distillate stocks within the EU-16 saw a 320 kb/d draw during September, reducing them to 400 MB, their lowest level in 18-months, Argus reports. Maintenance at a number of refineries in north-western Europe and fewer imports from Russia have reduced supply, whilst strong demand for heating oil in the region, particularly from Germany, where consumers are restocking tanks ahead of the winter, has prompted the draw. Stocks could well see further draws as a result of the ongoing strikes in France. All eleven of the country's active refineries have been forced to cease production, and protesters continue to blockade fuel depots.
Japanese crude steel production
Crude steel output in Japan rose 4% month-on-month to a 3-month high of 9.2 Mt in September, an 11.7% increase year-on-year, according to data from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. This takes total output in the 3q10 to 27.3 Mt, compared with a strong 2q10 total of 28.1 Mt.
Coal Imports Into China
Coal imports into China in September were the highest since January, according to preliminary customs data. With 15.3 Mt imported last month, the January-September total is running at an annualised rate of almost 164 Mt, which if reached would compare with last year's record of 127 Mt. No breakdown of the import data by source is available as yet.
Global Oil Demand Outstrips Supply In September
Global oil demand averaged 87.42 mb/d during September, a 720 kb/d increase from August and 2.24 mb/d higher year on year, Energy Intel reports. Non-OECD demand increased by 1.46 mb/d y-o-y to an average of 41.25 mb/d, with demand from China rising by 358 kb/d y-o-y to 9.09 mb/d, from India by 154 kb/d y-o-y to 3.16 mb/d and from Brazil by 188 kb/d y-o-y to 2.81 mb/d. The OECD saw demand grow by 785 kb/d yoy to an average of 46.17 mb/d. Meanwhile, global supply increased by 71 kb/d from August, and by 1.60 mb/d y-o-y to 86.85 mb/d.
Chinese wire rod price at six-month high
The price of Chinese wire rod rose $12/t over the week to a 6-month high of $642/t at the end of last week, according to data from World Steel Dynamics. This is just $6/t lower than the year-to-date high of $648/t set in mid-April, but has been impacted by the weaker US dollar in Yuan terms.
Chinese iron ore stockpiles
For the week ending October 15, Chinese iron ore stockpiles rose 1.21 Mt week-on-week to 76.66 Mt, according to U-Metal. This is the highest level since early September and compares with the year-to-date high of 79.8 Mt seen in mid-August.
Coal exports from US east coast
Combined coal exports from the ports of Hampton Roads and Baltimore in September were up 9.1% year-on-year to 3.1 Mt, but down 3.7% month-on-month, according to McCloskey. However, exports from these ports in the first nine months of 2010 reached 32 Mt, up 10.8 Mt (+51%) from the year-ago level.
North Sea Production Rises In September As Maintenance Draws To A Close
North Sea crude oil output reached 3.05 mb/d last month, a 110 kb/d increase from August, as fields began to return from seasonal maintenance programmes. The rise came exclusively from the UK sector, where production increased by 157 kb/d from the month before to an average of 1.22 mb/d. The Norwegian sector saw a slight decline, output falling 47 kb/d over the same period, to an average of 1.62 mb/d.
Russian Crude Exports Fall in September
Russian exports of crude oil along the Transneft pipeline system to destinations outside of the Former Soviet Union averaged 3.70 mb /d in September, a 6.2% decrease from August and down 3.4% year-on-year, Energy Intel reports. This puts exports at their lowest level since November 2008. Black Sea shipments fell 22.4% mom and 31.1% yoy to 647 kb/d. Exports from Baltic ports were also down, falling 8.9% mom and 7.8% yoy to 1.34 mb/d. Exports from Kozmino, which started in December last year, rose 4.0% mom to 319 kb/d, whilst shipments along the Druzhba pipeline averaged 1.13 mb/d, a 9.1% increase mom and stable yoy.
September shipments from Port Hedland at record high
Iron ore shipments from Port Hedland rose 2.1 Mt or 15% month-on-month to 15.7 Mt in September, hitting an all-time high, according to port authority figures. This takes shipments in the 3q10 to 43.9 Mt, short of the highest quarterly volume of 45 Mt seen in the 2q10, however.