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Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

How is energy demand faring across different sectors and regions amid the evolving coronavirus pandemic? In this week’s Commodity Tracker, S&P Global Platts editors look at global aviation, Chinese fuels consumption, Brazilian power demand and European refining, as well as US LNG output. 1. Lift in air travel helps jet fuel but demand still far from normal   What’s happening? Global aviation continues to recover and global kerosene/jet fuel demand is tracking the pattern...

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China makes oil market wary of demand false dawns: Fuel for Thought

China may have given oil markets false hope. A rapidly rebounding economy in the Asian powerhouse had initially revived demand, but bloated inventories and stockpiling by domestic refineries have exposed the fragility of prices. A look at Chinese ports tells the full story. Shandong – home to a host of independent refineries – is completely congested. The volume of crude stored on tankers idled in Chinese waters near the port city for more than a week has quintupled from normal levels....

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Asia shrugs off OPEC supply rise as refiners grapple with crippled demand

Middle Eastern sour crude supply is expected to increase this month after OPEC+ members on July 15 agreed to pare back their production cut commitment. But Asian consumers, who under normal circumstances would have welcomed the move, have barely taken notice. It remains to be seen where all this excess oil will eventually end up as Asian buyers grapple with crippling demand and have to tweak refining strategies to minimize losses. S&P Global Platts Analytics in a recent note said that it...

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In northern China’s hydrogen push, by-product output and renewables lead the way

China might lead the world in battery vehicles, but until recently it was a relative laggard in hydrogen. Now, it’s catching up. According to the China Hydrogen Alliance, a government-supported industry group that promotes the use of hydrogen, China built 38 new hydrogen refueling stations in 2019, meaning that by the end of the year China had a total of 66 hydrogen refueling facilities, 46 of which were operational. The government is targeting 300 HRS across the country by 2025. A range of...

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Commodity Tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

As oil markets begin to recover from the shocks of recent months, side-effects like falling VLCC rates and congestion at Chinese ports are emerging, write S&P Global Platts news editors. Plus, competition heats up among corn exporters amid low ethanol demand, and UK power prices reflect improving demand. 1. Freight rates dive as call on VLCCs for floating oil storage lessens   What’s happening? The amount of crude stored on tankers is showing signs of a descent in response to the...

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Commodity Tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

Global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is proving patchy, and demands a close look at oil demand signals – the first stop in this week’s roundup of energy and raw material trends. S&P Global Platts editors also look at prospects for US crude exports to Asia, Ukraine’s importance to the European gas market this summer, and the impact of reduced French nuclear availability on power markets. 1. Global oil demand set for uneven recovery as coronavirus battle continues   What’s...

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Latin American crude exports to USGC see small gains amid coronavirus upheaval

Latin American countries, excluding Venezuela and Argentina, have slightly increased crude exports to the US Gulf Coast market in 2020 to date, despite fierce competition from Canadian and Middle East producers. In the first five months of 2020, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Guyana exported a total of 148 million barrels of crude to refineries located in the US Gulf Coast, US Customs Bureau and S&P Global Platts Analytics data showed. That was up 1.3% from 146 million barrels...

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Commodity Tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

A recovery in Chinese independent refiners’ oil imports tops this week’s pick of trends in energy and raw materials markets. EU carbon markets, the relationship between US rig counts and tubular steel prices, and LNG supply to Europe are also on the agenda. 1. Saudi crude supply to Chinese independent refiners soars in May   What’s happening? China’s independent refiners ratcheted up crude imports in May by 71.1% on the year to a record high 4.42 million b/d, sending...

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US-Northwest Europe crude oil export route attracts interest despite closed arbitrage

A recent drop in Americas Aframax freight rates has sparked charterer inquiry and fixing activity for the US Gulf Coast-UK Continent/Mediterranean route, despite closed oil arbitrage economics that has plagued the market since the end of April. Assessed at $27/mt, Friday, freight rates last week hovered slightly above lows seen following a Worldscale w80 drop from April 27 to May 4. Despite this decline, the arbitrage to ship US crudes to Northwest Europe was considered unsupportive, while...

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Jet fuel demand faces double blow from recession and coronavirus: Fuel for Thought

The International Air Transport Association has warned that carriers face a near 40% collapse in passenger numbers this year. Once the skies reopen, the likelihood of a global recession and companies cutting back on business travel probably means refiners face a slow recovery to normal demand. Prices have nosedived. Jet fuel refining margins, as assessed by S&P Global Platts, have turned negative for the first time ever in Europe. Platts’ front month jet FOB FARAG barge swap crack versus...

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