Oil prices held steady on Thursday, remaining close to highs last reached in late 2014 on tensions over Syria and shrinking global oil inventories. Brent crude futures settled at $72.02 /bbl, down 4 cents. U.S. WTI crude futures were up 25 cents at $67.07/bbl.
OPEC released its monthly oil report yesterday evening, which showed its oil output fell 0.201 mb/d to 31.958 mb/d in March. Several members recorded notable declines in March, including Venezuela (-55 kb/d), Angola (-82 kb/d), Algeria (-50 kb/d), Saudi Arabia (-47 kb/d) and Libya (-37 kb/d). This was partially offset by smaller increases in UAE (+45 kb/d) and Nigeria (+18 kb/d).
In OPEC’s monthly report, the cartel also commented that the 7 grades being accepted for delivery into China’s new crude oil futures contracts are heavier and sourer than Brent and WTI, making it potentially “more useful” as a benchmark for the region.
In the meanwhile, President Trump also clarified that an attack on Syria was never as imminent as the media made it out to be.
Asia’s naphtha crack fell to a one-month low of $79.05 /MT. The prospect of upcoming shut downs seemed to dampen the demand for Naphtha cargoes. Naphta stocks in ARA are at their highest level for this time of the year at 301 KT.
The balance April crack for Naphtha has improved to – $ 1.00 /bbl. today. The May crack is valued at -$ 1.40 /bbl
Asia’s gasoline crack to Brent nosedived to a more than one and a half year low of $6.74 /bbl. Refinery maintenance season in North Asia has failed to lift sentiment. Some of China’s maintenance include PetroChina’s 200,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sichuan refinery which had begun a 60-day maintenance on April 8, its first major overhaul since it started operations four years ago. Sinopec Corp, on the other hand, will shut its entire 460,000 bpd refinery and a 1.1 million tonnes-per-year ethylene complex in Zhejiang for a 40-day maintenance starting from May 1.
Singapore’s onshore light distillates stocks fell by 689,000 barrels to a six-week low of 13.75 million barrels. Gasoline stock levels in ARA also dropped by 54 KT to 1.308 million tons
For a detailed report on all stock levels click here
The balance April crack has has surprisingly improved to $ 10..35 /bbl . The May crack is at $ 10.85 /bbl
Asia’s jet fuel cash differentials edged higher on Thursday on expectations for strong aviation demand, while middle distillate inventories in Singapore slipped. Cash differentials for jet fuel rose to $1.01 a barrel to Singapore quotes on Thursday, up from 95 cents on Wednesday. The cash premium for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content dipped to 26 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes, compared with 32 cents on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, India’s diesel demand rose 8.1 percent to about 7.4 million tonnes in March from the same month a year ago, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of the oil ministry showed on Wednesday. Asian demand for the industrial fuel is likely to benefit from India’s plans for heavy infrastructure spending this year.
Singapore onshore middle distillate stocks fell 365 kb to 11.2 million barrels in the week to April 11. ARA stocks also dropped by 137 KT to 2.48 million tonnes.
The April gasoil crack is lower at $ 15.15 /bbl with the 10 ppm crack at $ 15.90 /bbl. The regrade is slightly lower at $ 1.00 /bbl.
The May gasoil crack is at $ 15.05 /bbl with the 10 ppm crack at $ 15.75 /bbl. The regrade is at $ 0.95 /bbl.
Trade activity in the fuel oil paper markets was muted on Thursday with the front-month fuel oil crack widening its discount to Brent crude as crude oil prices recovered slightly after Asia trading hours. Oil markets edged back from highs last reached in late 2014 as ample supplies weighed, but prices were underpinned by worries over military escalation in Syria and trade tensions between the United States and China.
Singapore weekly onshore fuel oil inventories fell by 14,000 barrels to a 13-week low of 19.692 million barrels in the week ended April 11,
The April 180 cst crack has has improved slightly to -$ 6.10/ bbl. The visco spread has come in $ 2.00 /bbl
The May 180 cst crack is at -$ 6.15/ bbl. with the visco spread narrowing $ 1.70 /bbl
Hedge recommendations are essentially made for refiners. These are not trading positions as such. The rationale of these positions is to lock in extraordinary levels for the refiner.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to obtain marks for our Cal-19 hedges today. We shall update them as and when we get them.
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.