Most European and African bunker prices have increased some with Brent, and bunkering has resumed in Gibraltar amid calmer weather.
Changes on the day from Friday, to 09.00 GMT today:
- VLSFO prices up in Durban ($10/mt), Rotterdam ($2/mt) and steady in Gibraltar
- LSMGO prices up in Durban ($21/mt), Gibraltar ($1/mt), and down in Rotterdam ($21/mt)
- HSFO prices up in Gibraltar ($13/mt) and Rotterdam ($7/mt)
Bunker operations resumed at Gibraltar’s western anchorage this morning amid calmer weather conditions, according to port agent MH Bland. The port is forecast to experience “fine-moderate” weather conditions today, it says. Bunkering was limited in Gibraltar last week due to adverse weather, which increased the backlog there.
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Strong congestion has been reported in Gibraltar today, with 20 vessels currently waiting to bunker, MH Bland says.
Bunker deliveries have resumed in all Gibraltar Strait ports today including Algeciras, Ceuta and Huelva. However, suppliers are experiencing delays. Securing prompt bunker fuel deliveries will be difficult in Gibraltar and Algeciras due to the bunker backlog, sources say.
Gibraltar’s HSFO and LSMGO prices have increased some over the weekend, while its VLSFO price has held steady. Gibraltar’s HSFO price premium over Rotterdam has widened by $6/mt to $48/mt now.
Rotterdam’s HSFO and VLSFO prices have gained some over the weekend, while its LSMGO price has come down. Three LSMGO stems have been fixed in Rotterdam over the weekend in a wide range of $61/mt. The lower end of that range has contributed to drag the port’s benchmark down.
In South Africa’s Durban, VLSFO and LSMGO prices have increased over the weekend, and supply of the two products is said to be normal.
Bunkering is currently in progress in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. However, strong winds and waves are forecast to hit the bay this evening, which could complicate deliveries there.
Front-month ICE Brent has inched upwards by $0.40/bbl on the day from Friday, to $83.93/bbl at 09.00 GMT.
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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast China’s oil demand to grow by over 900,000 b/d this year, and Goldman Sachs commodity strategists think it will grow by an even higher 1 million b/d. This could lift Brent by “roughly $15/bbl,” Goldman Sachs said.
“World oil supply looks set to exceed demand through the first half of 2023, but the balance could quickly shift to deficit as demand recovers and some Russian output is shut in,” says the IEA. It predicts that Saudi Arabia and the UAE will have a combined “thin spare capacity cushion” of 3.4 million b/d despite seeing record production this year.
The IEA’s warning echoes the concern expressed by Saudi Aramco’s chief executive that the existing “low global spare capacity” will shrink as global demand led by China increases.
“One major upside risk to [oil] prices remains China and its recovery from the transition to living with Covid,” says Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. He adds that the Russian output cut is likely to “double later in the year.”
On the flip side, the IEA expects non-OPEC+ producers to step in to fill the supply gap left by Russia and OPEC. “For the year as a whole, global oil supply is forecast to expand by 1.2 million b/d, led by the US, Brazil, Norway, Canada and Guyana – all set to pump at record rates.”
The tug of war between inflation and the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) interest rate hikes remains a metaphorical chink in Brent’s armour. The Fed is expected to continue raising interest rates to rein in inflation. Increasing interest rates can increase borrowing costs, which may lead to a decrease in Brent crude oil demand.
“Sizzling” core inflation readings in the US “crushed hopes for a tidy melt in inflation,” writes Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management: “A ferocious recovery in January retail sales sequestered thoughts of a meaningful economic cooldown.” He adds that the Fed is not expected to cut interest rates until there is a “growth risk”.
Source: Engine, https://engine.online/news-single?postId=17989