OPEC’s technical advisory committee will meet on Saturday ahead of a full ministerial meeting next Monday. Will the meeting provide clues on whether OPEC plans to lift the exemptions on Libya and Nigeria from its production cut agreement? What’s supporting freight rates in the Asia Pacific? And will more Black Sea wheat be coming to Southeast Asia this week? Associate editor Jade Halford explores these and other topics that may impact Asia’s commodity markets this week.
In this week’s highlights, China to release data for June, the dry bulk market set to gain strength, and OPEC to consider including two more countries in its production cut agreement.
But the big news of the week is, China is due to release a slew of data for June across a range of commodities this week. It is also due to release its closely watched GDP data later on Monday.
Its oil data for June could show a further drop in domestic crude output, while its steel data is expected to show production hit a record high above 70 million tonnes in the month.
In nonferrous metals, China’s Xinjiang aluminium smelter is expected to announce output cuts this week. Anticipation of the cut has already boosted prices, and confirmation could provide further support.
In shipping, sentiment is set to be further boosted this week by summer coal demand in China. With most Chinese-flagged vessels engaged in moving domestic coal to demand centers, rates for other vessels in the Pacific are set to rise further.
Demand to move grain cargoes in the Atlantic is also supporting Panamax freight rates.
For insight into how to mitigate risks in a low-transparency shipping environment, we are holding a shipping and freight risk workshop with RPC Premier Law on Wednesday. Visit Platts.com/events for details.
Now, back to the markets.
The Asian LNG market is awaiting the results of key sell tenders from Indonesia’s Tangguh and Bontang projects this week. They are offering a total of nine cargoes for delivery later in the year. These prices will provide an indication of market fundamentals for the coming winter.
In the Philippines, the government has received proposals from China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Russia to co-develop an LNG hub, which it targets launching by 2018.
In petchems, the Asian monoethylene glycol market is expected to pick up in the second half of this year amid healthy downstream demand in China.
In agriculture, wheat traders will be watching to see if more Black Sea milling wheat will head to Southeast Asia this week. This comes after the Australian premium white wheat price surged to a fresh record high last week.
And finally, in oil, OPEC’s technical advisory committee will meet on Saturday ahead of a full ministerial meeting next Monday. Traders will be watching both events closely for clues on whether OPEC plans to lift the exemptions on Libya and Nigeria from its production cut agreement.
So, our big question this week is, will OPEC cap Libya and Nigeria’s production and, if so, at what levels?
The Asia-Pacific crude market stayed firm on Monday with more Australian grades being sold at steady premiums from the previous month. *AUSTRALIA: Firm demand for ultra light sweet oil in Asia supported North West Shelf (NWS) condensate’s value. Chevron has sold a cargo loading on Sept. 26-30 at a premium of $1.50-$1.90 a barrel to dated Brent, traders said. For heavy sweet crude, Quadrant Energy has sold one of the two Pyrenees cargoes loading in September likely at a premium close to $2 a barrel. The buyers of these cargoes were not immediately available. *BRENT-DUBAI EFS: September Brent’s premium to Dubai swaps was at $0.85 per barrel, up 5 cents. *TENDERS: Pertamina bought from Shell a Rabi Blend crude cargo for September delivery to Balongan. This is the Indonesian refiner’s second purchase of the Gabon crude for September.
Taiwanese refiner CPC has bought its first cargo of Qatar’s deodorised field condensate to be delivered to its new splitter in September, trade sources said. Mitsui likely sold the cargo. The splitter is still undergoing trial runs and is able to process a mix of light crude and naphtha.
COUNTRY/COMPANY GRADE VOL CLOSE LOADING DATE (VALID)
MALAYSIA/PETRONAS s:Muda 300KB July 20 Sept 24-30 condensate (July 21)
INDONESIA/PERTAMINA s:Senoro 200KB July 17 August 18-19 condensate (July 19)
ABU DHABI/ADNOC b:Condensate 500-700KB July 11 September CFR (July 20) Ruwais
VIETNAM/PV OIL s:Chim Sao 3*300KB July 13 September 2-6, (July 18) 15-19, 26-30
QATAR/QP s:DFC/LSC NA July 18 September (July 19)
COUNTRY/COMPANY GRADE VOL COUNTERPARTY LOADING DATE /PRICE
*INDONESIA/PERTAMINA b:Rabi Blend 600KB Shell September 20-21 CFR Balongan
*TAIWAN/CPC b:DFC 500KB Mitsui September delivery
*INDONESIA/PERTAMINA b:NWS 3*650KB DTD above August 30-31, condensate +$2 C&F September 9-10, 18-19 CFR Tuban
India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp has made its first purchase of U.S. oil, buying high sulphur crudes Mars and Poseidon in a tender, its head of refineries R. Ramachandran said. BPCL has bought a cargo containing 500,000 barrels each of Mars and Poseidon for delivery from Sept. 26 to Oct. 10. A trade source said BPCL has bought the cargo from Shell. Traders in the North Sea oil market have found a solution to the persistent overhang of unused barrels as Asia’s hunger for crude is prompting its suppliers to get creative and provide some unusual exports. Shell booked supertanker Olympic Leopard to load UK’s Forties and Russian Urals.
The oil major is also taking the first cargo of Brent to Asia in over a decade, traders and Reuters shipping data showed. NEWS Total declared force majeure on exports of Djeno crude oil in the Republic of Congo following a ship collision, traders said on Friday. Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports effective on Thursday, the company said in a statement on Friday, after the Nembe Creek Trunk Line was shut down, one of two pipelines transporting the grade. China’s oil refineries increased throughput in June to their second highest on record, with some independent plants raising output even as state oil majors prepare to take drastic steps to cut production during the peak summer season.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Vyas Mohan)