The underlying bullish sentiment was highlighted yesterday when, in the face of bearish EIA data, crude prices still managed to end in the positive territory. Brent futures settled 19 cents higher $ 54.36 / bbl while WTI settled at $ 51.15 /bbl.
Prices were supported by reports of a continued outage in the Buzzard fields in the North Sea.
The DOE reported a surprise build of 1.6 million barrels against an expected draw of 435 kb. This brings the total crude inventory up to 535.5 million barrels. Crude stocks at Cushing increased by 1.4 million barrels to 69.1 million barrels.
Gasoline stocks declined by 600 kb, a lot less than expected. The decline in Distillate stocks was nominal at 200 kb.
The product draws came notwithstanding an increase in refinery run rates of 1.5% to 90.8% utilization.
Having said the above, there was a drop in implied demand; something which is worrisome. Hence these figures are definitely bearish.
Saudi Aramco Prices for May
Saudi Aramco declared its OSPs for May loading crude yesterday. While it has cut prices for deliveries to Asia and North West Europe by 30 and 45 cents/ barrel respectively, it has increased its prices to the US by 30 cents/barrel.
In our opinion, the pricing strategy is aimed to make it uncompetitive for crudes from US to sell into the East. Some element of the 30 cent hike would have to do with the widening of the Brent – WTI differential.
The major point to be noted is that the increasing discounts reflect the demand for crude in the markets at large.
Naphtha markets eased a bit yesterday in the face of high crude prices. Having said that, there are many buyers looking to pick up available supplies. The April Japan Naphtha Crack fell to $ 0.85 /bbl. The Singapore Naphtha crack has receded to around -$ 0.50 /bbl.
Gasoline cracks have have also come off along with Naphtha. April is valued at $ 12.4 /bbl. The May – June spread has eased a bit to 40 cents.
China’s second batch of export quotas for Gasoline, Diesel and Jet are down by 73% for Sinopec, CNOOC and Sinochem and Petrochina.
The Gasoil crack is virtually unchanged today. However, Jet has strengthened further. The crack for April is valued at $ 11.6 / bbl. The regrade for April is at -$ 0.30 /bbl and May at + $ 0.15 /bbl.
180 CST Fuel Oil
Furious trading activity continued in the Platts window yesterday as well. However, while the time spreads seem to have improved, the cracks are virtually unchanged. The April crack is valued -$ 3.60/bbl. May is valued at -$ 3.90 /bbl
About this blog
This blog post attempts to give a top level summary of the Singapore market goings on to a person who seeks to obtain a directional sense of the market on a daily basis.
Disclaimer : All the views are the author’s personal views. These do not constitute an advice to buy or sell any commodity