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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Refinitiv News

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Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

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Container Freight Rates Soar

Global container shipping rates have surged to records on a spike in restocking demand in the United States and Europe, container scarcity at export hubs, and changes in freight flows because of the coronavirus pandemic, shipping sources said.The Freightos Baltic Global Container Index (FBX), a weighted average of 12 major global container routes, rose to $2,359 per forty-foot equivalent (FEU) container this week, the highest on record and up 30% since July 1."The spike is driven by very high demand for container freight since July…

Oil tanker Elisabeth Knutsen, later relabeled as Knut and one of several misidentified tankers hired by phantom companies to export oil from Venezuela, is seen anchored off Las Palmas, near the Canary Islands, before departing to Venezuela's Jose terminal, operated by state-run PDVSA, Spain September 27, 2020. (© Vin Moore / MarineTraffic.com)

Phantom Buyers in Russia, Advice from Iran Help Venezuela Skirt Sanctions

On Aug. 21, a tanker called the Otoman docked at the Jose oil terminal on Venezuela’s coast in the Caribbean to load 1.82 million barrels of heavy crude, according to the state oil company’s internal documents.Yet no tanker with that name is registered in major global shipping databases.Muddying the situation further, the unique identifier for the Otoman listed in the documents - a number used by the International Maritime Organization to identify ships - was assigned to another tanker called the Rubyni, according to the databases.The Rubyni was broken up two years ago, they record.

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China October Iron Ore Imports Dip

China’s iron ore imports slipped 1.7% in October from a month earlier, but still hovered well above 100 million tonnes, official customs data showed on Saturday, propped up by firm demand at Chinese mills and shipments from major miners.The world’s top iron ore consumer imported 106.74 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient in October, 14.9% more than in October 2019, but still below the 108.55 million tonnes brought in during September, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.For the first 10 months of 2020…

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Bunker Demand Returns to Pre-pandemic Levels

Asian refiners' profit from producing very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) climbed to six-month highs this week as output cuts keep supplies tight while demand for the shipping fuel at most ports are back at pre-pandemic levels, traders and analysts said.The trend is likely to stay for the rest of the year, encouraging Asian refiners to prioritize VLSFO production along with petrochemical feedstock naphtha, where demand has also firmed.The front-month VLSFO crack was at $9.43 per barrel above Dubai crude on Tuesday, its highest since April 10.

(Photo: Sydney Phoenix / U.S. Coast Guard)

US Army Corps Clearing Debris from Louisiana Calcasieu Ship Channel After Delta

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Wednesday that it may be able to clear enough debris from Hurricane Delta to open the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana to vessels drafting up to 30 feet (9.14 m) with restrictions by the end of the week.The Army Corps, however, said it does not have a timeline for restoration to full deep draft (40 feet) traffic.Analysts said a fully laden liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker has a draft of around 40 feet.

(File photo: Carlos Galarza / U.S. Coast Guard)

Army Corps Assessing Louisiana Calcasieu Ship Channel After Delta

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Tuesday it has identified three obstructions from Hurricane Delta that have to be removed before it can reopen the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana to deep draft vessels.The Army Corps, however, said it needs more data before it can estimate how long it will take to dredge the channel.That channel allows tankers to access the Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant, the Lake Charles refineries owned by Citgo Petroleum Corp and…

Rob Smith, Konecranes President and CEO, with Mika Vehvilainen, Cargotec CEO (Photo: Konecranes)

Konecranes and Cargotec to Merge

Finnish engineering firm Konecranes and cargo handling machinery maker Cargotec plan to merge to help speed up innovation and reap savings, they said on Thursday, sending both of their shares sharply higher.The boards of the companies, which provide road and sea-cargo handling machinery and services to industries, factories, ports and terminals, said they had signed a plan under which Konecranes would be folded into Cargotec in a merger of equals.Cargotec shares jumped around 25%, while Konecranes stock was up around 17%, giving a combined market value of around 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion

© Owen Foley / MarineTraffic.com

First Tanker to Load Crude at Libya's Hariga Port Since January

An oil tanker is expected to load crude at Libya’s Marsa el-Hariga terminal this week, the first since a blockade by eastern forces in January slashed the OPEC member’s oil production to a trickle.The Delta Hellas tanker will enter Libya’s Hariga port on Wednesday and load 1 million barrels of oil from the port’s storage, the Arabian Gulf Oil Co which operates the port said in a statement.Eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said last week his forces would lift their eight-month blockade of oil exports, which depressed the OPEC member’s production down to around 100,000 barrel per day (bpd)

File photo (Credit: Andrew Kendrick, U.S. Coast Guard)

US Energy Exports Severely Disrupted by Hurricane Laura

Oil and gas exports from the United States have been severely disrupted by Hurricane Laura, with nearly a million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports likely reduced this week by closures of U.S. Gulf Coast terminals and disruptions at ports.The hurricane also temporarily suspended operations at several liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the world’s third largest exporter of the super-cooled gas, with shipments on track to fall to their lowest in 18 months.Laura made landfall early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border…

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US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea. Landfall came near Louisiana's border…

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Frontline's Earnings Surge on Demand for Oil Storage

Oil tanker group Frontline reported a big jump in second-quarter earnings on Thursday as energy traders paid to store crude that went unsold amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said on Thursday.Frontline's April-June adjusted net profit rose to $206.1 million from a year-ago $4.2 million, topping a forecast of $203.3 million in a Refinitiv SmartEstimate poll of analysts."Our results for the first half of 2020 are the strongest in more than 10 years," Chief Executive Robert…

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Bottlenecks and Inefficiencies Are Key Upside Risks for Dry Bulk Market -MSI

Port days and diverted voyages are having an unusually strong impact on market balances and will play a key role in the short term outlook.Summer may be drawing to close in the northern hemisphere but for dry bulk shipowners, the positive tone could continue into early autumn as port delays and diversions provide continued upside, says Maritime Strategies International.July was another positive month for the dry bulk sector, with average monthly spot rates rising to their highest level this year for all benchmark vessels…

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Maersk Expects Pre-COVID Container Demand in 2021

Shipping group Maersk on Wednesday issued full-year earnings guidance above its forecast at the beginning of the year and said it expects demand for moving containers at sea to return to pre-COVID levels in the first half of next year.The company's share price jumped more than 7% in early trade to an eight-month high, and has doubled in value since March, as cost cuts and the prospect of a global economic recovery outweighed the present impact of the coronavirus pandemic."Our expectation is that some time during the first half next year we will have volumes back at the level we had in 2019…

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China Ramps up US Oil Purchases Ahead of Trade Deal Review

U.S. crude oil shipments to China will rise sharply in coming weeks, U.S. traders and shipbrokers and Chinese importers said, as the world’s top economies gear up to review a January deal after a prolonged trade war.Chinese state-owned oil firms have tentatively booked tankers to carry at least 20 million barrels of U.S. crude for August and September, the people said, moves that may ease U.S. concerns that China’s purchases are trending well short of purchase commitments under the Phase 1 of the trade deal.China had emerged as a top U.S.

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens restrictions on trade with the South American country.Washington has been trying to weaken socialist President Nicolas Maduro by choking the OPEC member’s oil exports…

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US Oil Exports to Europe Rebound

The United States has increased oil supply to Europe in July for the first month since May, making up for output cuts from OPEC+ members, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.U.S. crude supply to Europe reached nearly 31 million barrels in July, according to Refinitiv Eikon data as of July 24. With crude prices back above $40 a barrel, U.S. producers have rushed to claim market share while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, is still cutting supply drastically.U.S.

(File photo: Freeport LNG)

US LNG Exports at 20-month Low

Natural gas flows to U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants plunged this month after falling to a 20-month low in June as coronavirus lockdowns cut global demand for the fuel.Before the pandemic slashed energy demand, U.S. producers counted on LNG exports to keep growing fast as an outlet for their record gas output. But after soaring 68% in 2019 and 53% in 2018, U.S. LNG exports were only expected to rise about 7% in 2020.Gas pipeline flows to U.S. LNG export plants dropped…

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Spring Oil Flood Causes Summer Queues in Chinese Ports

Chinese ports are struggling to unload record volumes of crude with storage tanks full after the country rushed to buy extra barrels during April's oil price crash, according to traders and shipping data seen by Reuters.More than 80 million barrels of crude oil are currently waiting to be discharged from tankers in Chinese ports, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.Half of those are at the Qingdao port area in Shandong province, where the waiting time is two-three weeks or sometimes even longer…

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers Carrying Venezuelan Oil Stuck at Sea

Tankers carrying nearly two months worth of Venezuelan oil output are stuck at sea as global refiners shun the nation’s crude to avoid falling foul of U.S. sanctions, according to industry sources, PDVSA documents and shipping data.Washington is tightening sanctions to cut Venezuela’s oil exports and deprive the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro of its main source of revenue.The OPEC member’s exports are hovering near their lowest levels in more than 70 years and the economy has collapsed, but Maduro has held on - to the frustration of the administration of U.S.

© G.C. Dijkdrenth / MarineTraffic.com

Iranian Ship Reaches Venezuela with Cargo of Food

An Iranian ship was approaching the Venezuelan port of La Guaira on Sunday with a cargo of food that will supply the South American nation’s first Iranian supermarket, according to Refinitiv Eikon and Iran’s embassy in Venezuela.Iran supplied 1.5 million barrels of fuel to Venezuela last month amid a collapse of refinery operations and tightening sanctions by the United States that has made it more difficult for Venezuela to obtain fuel on international markets.The Iranian-flagged general cargo ship Golsan, owned by Mosakhar Darya Shipping Co, departed on May 15 from Bandar Abbas.

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China's Iron Ore Imports Jump in April

China's iron ore imports in April rose 11.4% from a month earlier on robust demand from steelmakers, as downstream sectors started to emerge from lockdowns to contain the coronavirus epidemic.Arrivals of the steelmaking ingredient were 95.71 million tonnes last month, data released on Thursday by the General Administration of Customs showed.That compares with imports of 85.91 million tonnes in March and 80.77 million tonnes a year earlier, when shipments from Brazil's top miner Vale SA were disrupted after a tailings dam disaster.In the first four months of 2020…

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French Wheat Shipments Remain High Despite Lockdown

French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached a four-year high for April, Refinitiv data showed, as exporters continued to ship high volumes during the coronavirus pandemic.Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.56 million tonnes, the highest April volume since the 2015/16 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.The April volume was about 70,000 tonnes lower than non-EU soft wheat exports the previous month, which marked the highest monthly total so far in the 2019/20 July-June season.Exporters have faced transport an

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Tanker Bottleneck Grows at Mexico's Ports

More than 20 vessels loaded with fuel have waited a week or more to discharge gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas at Mexico's ports, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, as demand craters due to coronavirus-related lockdowns.Mexico imports most of its fuel and has very limited storage capacity. State oil company Pemex and about a dozen independent importers typically discharge at least two gasoline cargoes per day, mostly coming from the United States.In January…

Maran Gas Vergina - Image by Tim Cheetham - MarineTraffic

LNG Tanker to Discharge First US Cargo in China in 13 Months

The tanker Maran Gas Vergina has arrived in China with the first delivery of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 13 months, shipping data showed on Monday.This is the first shipment since March 2019 after a long-standing trade war in which China raised tariffs on LNG imports from the United States to 25% last year.The tanker berthed on Monday in Tianjin, where China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and Sinopec operate LNG terminals, ship-tracking data from Refinitiv and data…

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Seaborne Coal Prices Under Pressure

Worrying signs are emerging for coal exporters to the world's biggest markets in Asia, as top buyers China and India move to favor domestic supplies over seaborne imports.The prices of higher-grade Australian thermal coal, lower-rank Indonesian thermal coal, and Australian coking coal used in steel-making have come under pressure in recent days, amid signs demand may be easing.Vessel tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv suggests a slowing in cargo offloadings in top importer China…