EU sanctions on Russian fuel oil have dramatically altered supply flows for high sulfur material within Europe, and while there is some trading activity still in the Mediterranean basin, most Russian fuel oil is heading to Singapore and elsewhere in the East. While weaker demand has offset a lack of supply within Europe for now, market uncertainty remains high with the question of where Europe will get its imports from in the future open.In this episode of the Platts Oil Markets Podcast, S&P Global Commodity Insights editors Mary Tiernan and Chloe Davies discuss with John Morley sanctions and market dynamics for high sulfur fuel oil and VGO in Europe.More listening options:
The US Gulf Coast crude market is exporting record volumes while also seeing sky-high freight rates. This dynamic has been playing out consistently for the past few months, but how are these exports continuing to move in such great volumes despite this major headwind?In this episode of the Platts Oil Markets Podcast, S&P Global Commodity Insights crude and shipping experts Laura Huchzermeyer, Kristian Tialios and Catherine Kellogg discuss the factors that are contributing to these high freight rates and how they are impacting US Gulf Coast exports.Subscribe to Platts Dimensions Pro for access to assessments and premium content covering Platts AGS (AGSAA00), 130kt Suezmax Brazil-UK Continent (ABRKB00), 270kt USGC-China (TDUCB00) and much more.More listening options:
From modest beginnings in 1983 when the first container terminal was opened in Fujairah, the port has grown over the last 30 years to become the world's third-largest global bunkering hub after Singapore and Rotterdam. Launch Report
With global container shipping costs coming down, European polymer markets are seeing offers of material from the Far East rise, adding pressure to prices in an already oversupplied environment.S&P Global Commodity Insights petrochemicals editors Abdulaziz Ehtaiba, Hui Heng and Daniel Pelosi, and containers editor George Griffiths talk about the logistical landscape and the fallout it is causing in the polymer markets.Price assessments for this episode:PP Homo Inj FD NWE Spot Eur/mt - AALUR00PP Inj CFR FE Asia - PHBIF00Platts Container Rate 1 North Asia-UK Continent $/FEU - PCR0100HDPE Film CFR Far East Asia - AATYE00More listening options:
As gas supply disruptions send shockwaves across the world, the ability and capacity to store energy has come under close scrutiny.Associate Director Paul Hickin discusses with gas and power editors Stuart Elliott and Kira Savcenko whether Europe has enough energy in reserve to get through the winter, the challenges of providing sufficient back-up from both fossil fuels and alternative sources, the knock-on effects to the rest of the world, and whether we might experience déjà vu this time next year.Useful price assessments:Dated Brent: PCAAS00 UK baseload front-month (GBP/MWh): AADGP00TTF front-month (Eur/MWh): GTFTM01 More listening options:
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered an unprecedented wave of sanctions against Moscow which are rippling through global commodity markets. In addition to official sanctions which continue to evolve, major self-sanctioning by industries looking to cut ties with Russia have deepened the market impact.Click here to see the full size version
Even after US gasoline prices reached historic highs during the coronavirus pandemic, they somehow found more room to rise in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Strong demand and a lack of imports into the US Atlantic Coast resulted in unprecedented interest to ship barrels on Colonial Pipeline. The only problem? It wasn't enough.Light ends manager Andrea Salazar and US gasoline reporters Anna Trier and Jordan Daniel discuss how gasoline prices have fared in this tight market and whether prices are seeing any relief.Subscribe to Platts Dimensions Pro for access to assessments and premium content covering Gulf Coast CBOB (AARQU00), New York Harbor barge RBOB (AAMGV00), and much more.More listening options:
Nov 14 2022
Ukrainian grain flows through the Black Sea declined during the week ended Nov. 13, a S&P Global Commodity Insights analysis of UN data showed, with markets still cautious until a clear renewal indication of the safe passage agreement is communicated from stakeholders of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. "The Black Sea is dead as there are almost no orders in the Panamax and Ultramax markets," said a shipbroker, explaining that participants have adopted a wait-and-see approach ahead of the Nov. 19 deadline for Ukrainian grain shipments, while Russian sellers have been less active. Indeed, the UN's Joint Coordination Centre reported that 525,699 mt of grains had been exported during the week ended Nov. 13, nearly 4% lower week on week and almost 55% below the mid-September peak in weekly levels, marking the lowest weekly export volume since mid-August. In addition, uncertainty has weighted on the size of the shipments too, as smaller vessels accounted for the majority of the runs, with the average cargo size for Nov. 7-13 shipments down 27% week on week to hit a three-week low of 25,033 mt, according to JCC data. The JCC reported late Nov. 13 that 61 inbound vessels were waiting to move, following inspection, into Ukrainian ports with the capacity to export approximately 1.5 million mt of grain and other food products; congestion appeared to have eased by nearly 20% over the weekend, with 76 vessels having waited in queue on Nov. 11. However, 10 loaded outbound vessels were still waiting for inspection in Turkish territorial waters as of late Nov. 13, three more than the evening of Nov. 11. Like the previous week, the largest cargo observed during the period Nov. 7-13 was a 62,900 mt shipment of corn departed from Chornomorsk Nov. 11, carried onboard the 75,200 dwt Nestor S destined for China. In terms of cargo types, wheat shipments dominated exports this week, accounting for 176,368 mt, taking the lead from corn flows, which reached 134,150 mt, with the remaining cargoes containing sunflower products, rapeseed and other grains. The proportion of shipments destined for high-income countries increased to 44% during the week ended Nov. 13, up from 41% the previous week, while almost 11% was destined for low-income countries, with the rest heading to mid-income destinations. As for regional destinations, Europe & Central Asia attracted over 41% of the shipments in the week, unchanged week on week, with almost 32% heading to East Asia & Pacific, from more than 41% the previous week, and an additional 26% destined for the Middle East & North Africa, from less than 18% the previous week. Market remains optimistic The UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed July 22 by Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, enabled the resumption of exports of grains and fertilizers from the three key Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi from the Black Sea. According to the safe passage agreement, the "initiative will remain in effect for 120 days from the date of signature by all Parties and can be extended automatically for the same period, unless one of the Parties notifies the other of the intent to terminate the initiative, or to modify it." Previously, Russia said it had suspended its participation in the agreement in late October but since backtracked, and now market participants are focusing on the Nov. 19 renewal deadline. "The Black Sea Grain Initiative will be renewed, it's just that traders are not ready to take the risk at the moment," the shipbroker said. "There are too many vessels still waiting for inbound inspection -- some traders have to pay out millions in the compensation for the waiting time before the JCC inspection can be carried out." A ship manager expressed confidence that the safe passage agreement would be extended, "as there is no reason to do otherwise." "Probably Russia will get better conditions in an updated agreement, but we will see," the ship manager said. "At least I can see that cargoes are there in the ports, so shippers seem to be positive as well." Looking ahead, the JCC is planning to maintain steady personnel Nov. 14, deploying three joint inspection teams to carry out the procedures.
Nov 04 2022
Europe's jet fuel purchases from the Persian Gulf are on the rise as air travel demand improves and the continent replaces Russian barrels with other origins ahead of its February price cap deadline, boosting cash differential for spot barrels, market participants said. The EU is expected to place a price cap Feb. 5, 2023, on Russian refined oil products in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The Platts cash differential for Persian Gulf jet fuel/kerosene spot cargoes averaged plus $8.21/b to Mean of Platts Arab Gulf jet fuel/kerosene assessment in October, jumping more than 25% from September's average of plus $6.55/b, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed. The Mediterranean's share of Europe's overall jet fuel imports has increased considerably in recent months. Cargoes flowing from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean have risen despite a marginal arbitrage disincentive, according to S&P Global's calculations of refined products arbitrage flows. The average arbitrage to ship Persian Gulf jet fuel cargoes to the Mediterranean stood at an incentive of minus $1.51/b in September and plus 14 cents/b in October. Shipping industry estimates show total jet fuel loadings bound for Europe from the Persian Gulf in November are expected in the 1.6 million-1.7 million mt range. Market participants, who track the movement of tankers loading jet fuel, said shipments were slightly above 1.5 million in August and September and are marginally higher than 1.6 million mt in October. The details about shipments over the last October weekend are expected in a few days and may bring the final number closer to 1.7 million mt. Several ports in the Mediterranean previously receiving gasoil and jet fuel cargoes from Russia on Medium Range tankers have substituted the volumes with Middle Eastern origins that are now mostly loading on Long Range 1 tankers, said an executive with a clean tanker company. MRs carry cargoes of about 35,000 mt, while LR1s can carry up to 65,000 mt. Close to a dozen European airlines that were regularly buying Russian jet fuel are in the process of substituting those volumes, another chartering executive said. Shipping sources tracking jet fuel deals said the share of Mediterranean deliveries in Persian Gulf jet fuel shipments to Europe likely climbed to 30% in October, from 22% in September and 16% in August. Tentative jet fuel fixtures and loadings in October indicate that Mediterranean-bound shipments may have reached 500,000 mt, double the August volume, a shipping executive said. The fixtures and loadings include loadings on tankers in the spot market and on ships, which trading and refining companies take on time charter, market sources said. But the surge in imports is not entirely linked to Russian sanctions as air travel demand has also rebounded. Asian jet fuel demand faces headwinds While healthy arbitrage flows have supported prices since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, sources said the Asian jet fuel market was still plagued by uncertainty stemming from a lack of transparency on China's export program and COVID-19 lockdowns and mobility restrictions. "China is a major uncertainty factor for the market right now," an Asian refinery source said, citing a lack of clarity over the country's COVID-19 curbs and refined product export quotas. Some trade sources estimate that Chinese jet fuel outflows could hit 2 million mt in November, while others anticipate potentially higher volumes because of patchy demand in the country. Aviation experts said the pace of air travel demand growth is expected to slow in the fourth quarter due to rising inflation and the waning effect of pent-up demand from the pandemic. "All this talk about revenger travel, it's not sustainable," Shukor Yusof, founder of aviation insights firm Endau Analytics said. Yusof and several other market watchers have warned that rising aviation fuel cost and global inflation is set to erode air travel demand as airfares continue to rise. The FOB Singapore cash differential had lost nearly half its value over a span of eight trading days to plus $1.69/b to Mean of Platts Singapore jet fuel/kerosene assessment Nov. 2, before rebounding to plus $1.99/b Nov. 4. The weakness was also reflected in the derivatives curve, with the November-December time spread narrowing 86 cents/b, or 24%, to plus $2.72/b Nov. 4 since the start of the month.
Sep 25 2022
The UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. will supply German companies with LNG and diesel cargoes in 2022 and 2023 as Europe's biggest oil consumer seeks to diversify energy sources amid reduced supply of Russian gas and upcoming European Union sanctions on crude and oil product imports from Moscow. As part of a new Energy Security and Industry Accelerator agreement signed between the UAE and Germany, ADNOC will supply RWE with an LNG cargo in late 2022 to be used in the country's floating LNG import terminal in Brunsbuttel, state-run WAM news agency reported Sept. 25. ADNOC has also earmarked several other LNG cargoes for German customers for delivery in 2023, the agency said, without disclosing further details. The agreements were signed during a state visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the UAE, the second stop on a three-country trip that started in Saudi Arabia and will take him next to Qatar, where other energy deals are expected to be signed. ADNOC, which completed its first ever direct diesel delivery to Germany in September, has agreed to the terms with Wilhelm Hoyer GmbH & Co. on the supply of up to 250,000 mt of diesel per month in 2023, WAM said. German LNG demand As Russian gas deliveries dwindle from Nord stream, German utilities are working to diversify gas import portfolios and build up the limited import capacity for LNG. Uniper, RWE and EnBW on Aug. 16 signed a memorandum of understanding for gas supplies into the Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel floating storage and regasification units, which are set to start operations this winter with a capacity of 12.5 Bcm/year. Germany is developing a total of five state-backed FSRU projects, but the focus is initially on supplying LNG into the Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel sites. The FSRUs in Brunsbuttel and Wilhelmshaven are to be operated by RWE and Uniper. The reduction in Russian flows to Germany via Nord Stream since mid-June and then the complete halt in deliveries at the end of August have helped keep European gas prices at sustained highs. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the Dutch TTF month-ahead price at an all-time high of Eur319.98/MWh on Aug. 26. It was last assessed on Sept. 23 Eur179.20/MWh, almost three times higher than at the end of 2021. Oil products supply Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Germany was the world's second-biggest buyer of Russian crude after China, importing 687,000 b/d of crude and 149,000 b/d of oil products from Russia in November 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. Most of the crude was delivered via the northern branch of the Druzhba pipeline system from Russia, with smaller amounts arriving via tanker to Rotterdam and its North Sea ports of Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. Germany had already seen most of its refiners and oil importers switch away from Russian supplies since March. By mid-April, the government said the country had slashed its dependence on Russian crude to 12% of its imports from 35% before the invasion of Ukraine. The UAE energy producer has also signed agreements with German customers, including power plant operator Steag and copper producer Aurubis for the supply of low-carbon ammonia. The first cargo of low-carbon ammonia from ADNOC arrived in Germany Sept. 15 on its way to Aurubis, which will use the low-carbon ammonia as a feedstock in its wire rod plant. The demonstration cargo, produced by Fertiglobe, an ADNOC unit that produces fertilizers, is the first of several test cargoes to be sent from the UAE to Germany as the UAE energy producer expands its strategic energy partnership. Low-carbon ammonia delivery ADNOC plans to work with several German companies on hydrogen projects and signed deals with companies including Uniper, Aurubis and RWE as it looks to expand into Europe after having establishing export markets in Asia. ADNOC signed an agreement with German companies Hydrogenious and Uniper on March 21 on imports to Wilhelmshaven, covering 7,000-10,000 mt/year of green hydrogen shipments from 2025, as part of a demonstration project. ADNOC aims to supply up to 25% of Germany's imported clean hydrogen and derivatives such as ammonia. The UAE is also targeting a 25% share of the global green and blue hydrogen market by 2030. As part of agreements signed on Sept. 25, UAE's renewable energy firm Masdar will also explore opportunities to develop as much as 10 GW in offshore wind in the North Sea and Baltic Sea in Germany by 2030, WAM said.
Aug 18 2022
Record low water levels are hindering the transportation of naphtha, LPG, gasoline blending components and diesel, amongst other commodities, along the Rhine into regions of Germany, France and Switzerland leading to critically low inland stocks and the release of strategic reserves for products already affected by the war in Ukraine and a rebound in transportation demand. In this episode of the Oil Markets Podcast, S&P Global Platts Global editors Eklavya Gupte, Virginie Malicier and Vinicius Maffei discuss with Gary Clark the market implications of strained supply chains for clean oil products for Europe. Price symbols on clean oil products discussed in this episode: Naphtha FOB ARA barges - PAAAM00 Gasoline Eurobob FOB ARA barges - AAQZV00 Diesel 10ppm FOB ARA barges - AAJUS00 More listening options: Related infographic: Low Rhine levels impact commodity deliveries No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
Jul 26 2022
Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, will launch daily carbon-accounted Aframax dirty tanker freight assessments on four key routes in Europe, effective Aug. 1, 2022, to provide further transparency into this developing market. These new assessments will reflect the cost to move crude oil or fuel oil on an Aframax tanker on each route, including the additional cost required to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide emissions created through the combustion and exhaust of a ship's marine fuel through the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS). These assessments add to the suite of freight carbon intensity values and freight carbon intensity premiums Platts has already been publishing since October 2021 , which measure the impact of greenhouse gas emissions to transport various crude grades from production storage terminals to typical refinery locations around the world. The new carbon-accounted Aframax freight assessments will be published in Worldscale points as well as in US dollars/mt. The new assessments are: Assessment Name Cargo Size Daily Code Monthly Average Code Carbon-Accounted Aframax UKC-UKC WS 80 ANEUH00 ANEUH03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Baltic-UKC WS 100 ANEUB00 ANEUB03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Ceyhan-Med WS 80 ANEUF00 ANEUF03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Black Sea-Med WS 80 ANEUD00 ANEUD03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax UKC-UKC $/mt 80 ANEUG00 ANEUG03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Baltic-UKC $/mt 100 ANEUA00 ANEUA03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Ceyhan-Med $/mt 80 ANEUE00 ANEUE03 Carbon-Accounted Aframax Black Sea-Med $/mt 80 ANEUC00 ANEUC03 Last July, the European Commission proposed adding shipping to the EU ETS gradually from 2023 to 2026, when shipowners would need to buy permits covering all their emissions inside the EU and 50% of their emissions from international voyages beginning and ending in the EU. The Environmental Committee of the European Parliament voted in May 2022 to delay the inclusion of the shipping sector into the EU ETS from 2023 to 2024, but require that 100% of emissions from intra-EU voyages be covered from the outset, dropping previous plans for a phase-in period between 2023-2026. The latest EU proposals will look to cover 50% of emissions for voyages into and out of the European Economic Area until 2027, and 100% of emissions of these voyages thereafter. The vessel speed and bunker fuel consumption used in the calculations of the new carbon-accounted freight assessments were arrived at by extensive market survey and reflect market practice. The calculations will use the daily EU Emission Allowance Nearest-December price (EADLP00) as published by Platts. The tank-to-wake carbon emissions based on the fuel consumption will be calculated using the carbon conversion factors published in Annex 1 of Regulation (EU) 2015/757 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport. These carbon conversion factors, to be published by Platts from Aug. 1, are: Assessment Name Value Daily Code Carbon Conversion Factor 0.5% VLSFO 3.151 t-CO2/t-fuel ASFOA00 Carbon Conversion Factor 0.1% MGO 3.206 t-CO2/t-fuel AMGOA00 Platts will publish the values defined in the relevant European legislation and will reflect any updates accordingly. The new assessments will be published in the Platts Dirty Tankerwire; on Platts Global Tanker pages PGT1960 and 1961, Platts Shipping Alert pages 1430 and 1431, as well as in the Platts price database under the codes above. Please send all comments or questions to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . For written comments, please provide a clear indication if comments are not intended for publication by Platts for public viewing. Platts will consider all comments received and will make comments not marked as confidential available to the public upon request.
Jul 25 2022
Asian fuel oil was expected to face further downward pressure over July 25-29 as the market pushes increasingly into trading second-half August loading cargoes. The Asian low sulfur fuel oil market was likely to ease on the back of near-term demand-supply balance, pointing to an easing of availability of both finished grade product and low sulfur blending components in August. The Asian high sulfur fuel oil market, on the other hand, was likely to garner support in the near term on optimism that demand was likely to see an uptick from the utility sector, especially in the West, where high gas prices have turned focus on alternative burning fuels. Morning trades for the September ICE Brent futures contract were seen at $102.50/b at 0345 GMT July 25, down from $103.90/b at 0830 GMT July 22, Intercontinental Exchange data showed. Marine fuel 0.5% ** The Singapore marine fuel 0.5% August/September swap was heard pegged at $35/mt in mid-morning trade, unchanged from its assessment on July 22. ** The downstream low sulfur bunker fuel market was also likely to come under pressure in the near term. The Singapore-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium over benchmark Singapore marine fuel 0.5% cargo touched a record high $117.85/mt July 20, but finished the week ended July 22 lower at $103.63/mt, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed. ** The low sulfur bunker fuel premium was also likely to be further pressured in the Middle Eastern port of Fujairah by competitive selling interest. The Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium over Singapore marine fuel 0.5% cargo averaged $96.26/mt in the week ended July 22, down from $113.84/mt the week before, S&P Global data showed. ** Supply of South Korea's LSFO bunker for balance July delivery dates is expected to tighten as local refiners have mostly sold out July inventories, market sources said. ** Despite rising LSFO stockpiles at the North Asian bunker hub of Zhoushan, a forecasts for inclement weather over July 25-29 is likely to subdue demand and weigh on bunker premiums, local bunker suppliers said. ** Amid the recent inflow of LSFO replenishment cargoes to Hong Kong, traders expect rising inventories to soften bunker premiums, while downstream demand reportedly remains lackluster. High sulfur fuel oil ** The Singapore 380 CST HSFO August/September swap was pegged at $3.50/mt in mid-morning trade, up from $3/mt at the Asian close July 22, broking sources said. ** Determined buying interest saw the cash differential for Singapore 380 CST HSFO cargo over Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST HSFO average a premium of 14 cents/mt in the week ended July 22, up from a discount of $2.46/mt the week before. ** The downstream 380 CST high sulfur bunker fuel market reflected the uptick in the upstream market, with the premium for Singapore-delivered 380 CST bunker rising to average $16.04/mt in the week ended July 22 from $15.25/mt the week before. ** Amid increasing arrivals of container liners calling at South Korean ports, which strengthened HSFO bunker demand, local bunker suppliers expect higher inflows of HSFO imports to slow the inventory drawdown. ** Lackluster demand for HSFO bunkers amid ample inventories is likely to pressure Hong Kong's bunker premiums, according to market sources. ** Market participants in Japan expect HSFO bunker premiums to remain competitive amid lukewarm downstream demand for late July-early August deliveries, while adequate stockpiles would likely also keep prices steady.
Jul 04 2022
Asia-Pacific tankers are likely to be firm in the third quarter of 2022, driven by changing trade flows leading to longer voyages amid the lingering Russia-Ukraine war and slow growth in the fleet. While clean tanker freight hit an all-time high in June for some routes and a 26-month high for others, market participants and analysts expect that even dirty tankers will make gains in the current quarter. This is likely to benefit owners who can use rising earnings to retire costlier debt while it may further push up the delivered cost of cargoes, making oil and its products expensive for end-users. However, the growth in earnings will be stymied by record-high bunker prices. "Tanker freight is in early stages of a cyclical recovery, which is likely to continue in the third quarter, with strength gradually shifting from clean to dirty," said Oslo-based Ole-Rikard Hammer, senior analyst, oil and tankers, Arctic Securities. London-based Maritime Strategies International, or MSI, has forecast daily average spot VLCC earnings during Q3 at $4,500, taking into account voyages to China from the US and the Persian Gulf, compared with a daily loss $6,200 in the first quarter. It has forecast that compared with Q1, LR2 earnings on the Persian Gulf-Japan route may more than quadruple to $24,700 in Q3. Clean tankers will remain very strong due to a smaller orderbook for new ships, the imminent regulations on carbon emissions and the reorganization of the trade flows caused by sanctions on Russia, said Enrico Paglia, a Genoa-based research manager with Banchero Costa, or Bancosta. Oil demand Global oil demand is growing and inventories are very low, a classic setup for a trade upswing, Hammer said. This already became evident during the first half of 2022, with volumes approaching pre-pandemic levels, he added. International Energy Agency, or IEA has forecast that the global oil demand will surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023 at close to 102 million b/d. Shipping executives across the globe are latching on to such projections, while painting a bright picture for tankers' freight. VLCCs have been reeling under pressure of a large fleet and brokers estimate the average daily losses so far this year in spot chartering on the Persian Gulf-North Asia routes at just over $5,000. Late in June, before the freight rose above the key psychological mark of w50, daily losses for VLCCs on these routes were more than $15,000, the estimates showed. Clean tankers have outperformed their dirty counterparts but now they too are expected to close the gap as refineries ramp up run rates, said Hammer. IEA estimates that expansion in global refining capacity will boost throughputs by 2.3 million b/d this year. War time energy trade With the Russia-Ukraine war in its fifth month, there is now greater clarity on changing trading patterns, which has given a boost to longer voyages, or ton mile demand and tankers' freight. Ton-mile demand is calculated by multiplying the volume of cargo moved in metric tons by distance traveled in miles. Covering a longer distance implies diminished availability of ships even if the total size of the fleet remains the same, or conversely, it offsets the increase in supply of tonnage. In May, crude shipments from the Middle East to Asia dropped by about 8% month on month, MSI's Director, Tim Smith said in a monthly report. OPEC production also fell by about 200,000 b/d from the previous month, he said. Earlier trade was lagging as OPEC+ cut output and companies cleared an overhang in inventories, said Hammer. Outlook has now improved. Western sanctions on Russia will push up freight for dirty tankers in the medium term, added Paglia. Volumes are increasing, not least because demand for cheaper Russian crude is high, said Hammer. Moreover, distances are lengthening with Russian barrels shifting to Asia, while more oil is coming elsewhere as a substitute from the US Gulf and the Persian Gulf. According to IEA, Non-OPEC+ is set to lead world supply growth through next year, adding 1.9 million b/d this year and 1.8 million b/d in 2023. Orderbook From next year, the tankers' fleet growth is expected to slow considerably to around 1% due to historically low orderbooks, which are currently equivalent to around 6% of the trading fleet and a slight pick up in demolitions, said Bancosta's Paglia. The tankers' orderbook is at least at a twenty-year low, added Arctic's Hammer. Low scrapping means there is still some fleet growth, but it is slowing and the level is manageable, he said. According to Bancosta's estimates, during the first five months of the year, the global dirty tankers fleet grew by 1.5% with the VLCC fleet expanding by 1.8%. During the same period the fleet size of clean tankers increased by 1.5%, but remains almost unchanged for relatively smaller sized ships due to a reduction of the number of handy tanker and LR1s amid scrappings. In dirty tankers, Iran remains a dark horse and Paglia said a strong boost to freight could come if sanctions on the country are lifted, as that would increase demand and force a significant part of older tonnage to the scrapyards.
Jun 20 2022
The Russia-Ukraine war may have come as a shot in the arm for overall global decarbonization efforts, but the maritime industry is still far behind in that value chain to draw those resources, with significant progress required and favorable incentives needed to expedite shipping's decarbonization journey as it embraces a multifuel future, industry experts said. "I think it's sad. Whilst the world agreed that we had an existential threat and the need to decarbonize, we had to wait for a country to invade anther country to make us realize that we have to do something faster," Sanjay Kuttan, Chief Technology Officer at the Singapore-headquartered Global Center for Maritime Decarbonization, or GCMD, said June 16 at the S&P Global Commodity Insights Bunker and Shipping Summit, 2022. "We [globally] need to accelerate our efforts...So, I hope that even when the war ends, the pace of acceleration doesn't taper off because the existential threat affects not only one nation but the whole world," he said. Sanjay Verma, business development director at Warstila, also echoed a similar sentiment. However, he noted that it was imperative to take a holistic view. "We are far behind in that value chain for shipping to get that fuel [renewables] and truly it should be done again following the same logic of cleaning the world, not the ship," Verma said. Embracing a multifuel future When it comes to cleaner marine fuels, LNG, perhaps methanol, are the only alternatives that are viable today, Takeo Akamatsu, General Manager of Green Innovation Business Unit Plant Project, Marine & Aerospace Division at Itochu Corporation said. "We believe ammonia will come soon and some years later we may have the option of green LNG, green methanol and green ammonia," Akamatsu said. In April, Itochu Corporation said it had launched the Joint Study Framework for Ammonia Bunkering Safety, a framework for sharing issues and knowledge on safety and guidelines for ammonia bunkering with the aim of social implementation of ammonia use as a marine fuel, together with 16 companies and organizations. "We are now focused on Singapore for our pilot [project] and are working with partners to set up [a] bunkering station in Singapore...[separately] our target is to deliver the first vessel with ammonia-fueled engine in the first quarter of 2026," Akamatsu said. But Itochu is not the only one exploring ammonia's potential as a marine fuel. In January, the GCMD awarded its ammonia bunkering safety study to a DNV-led consortium. "It actually started off because we wanted to demonstrate that ammonia bunkering can be done safely as a physical activity," Kuttan said. "So, we need to get a policy sandbox from the regulators in Singapore that allows us to execute that and hopefully we can get the project on water in early 2024," he added. Meanwhile Kuttan noted that when one looked at the infrastructure to be delivered, biofuels were perhaps the "closest fuel that can be deployed today." There are some inherent challenges in terms of testing methodologies to ensure the right quality and quantity for blending but that by far is the easiest fuel, he said. Scaling it, however, is an issue presently and the old argument about competition with the food chain remains, he said. "All Wartsila engines can run on biofuels but if I look at shipping and the need of shipping -- the volume and the areas where it requires fuel -- for me LNG is the only option at the moment," Verma said. "This agenda of climate change is not to make shipping look good, it's to reduce the carbon footprint of the planet and you are not doing any justice [to this] by using methanol today [in] the way it is.... So why not use LNG and why use methanol on the ship?" he said. Carbon tax mechanism When it came to carbon offsets and carbon credits, Kuttan noted that there was no clear cut consensus in the industry on their effectiveness to achieve decarbonization. "When you look around the rules around the carbon credits which are additionality and the rules around sustainability of those offsets, especially considering upcoming regulations around CII, EEXI or EEDI in the past, one wonders whether the rules of additionality can be actually addressed from maritime carbon offsets," he said. "So, it's not a very straightforward application and we need to think through how to justify the carbon offset in line with the global regulatory requirements," he added. Compared to carbon offsets, a carbon tax is something which is "more doable", Verma said. It would directly incentivize owners who are investing in their fleet as well as create a level playing field, he said. Akamatsu agreed that using conventional fuel and then offsetting it was not the "proper direction" to take. There was a need for other mechanisms, he said. Meanwhile, another industry source opined that while carbon offsets could help in the short-term. "I don't think this mechanism will achieve the goals that a carbon tax will," he said, adding that the practice of carbon offsets could potentially get abused.
Jun 09 2022
Shipping needs to smarten up its emissions rules if it is to decarbonize effectively, with the International Maritime Organization's new carbon metrics a prime candidate for review given the potential for unintended consequences, Eman Abdalla, global operations and supply chain director at Cargill Ocean Transportation, told S&P Global Commodity Insights on the sidelines of the Posidonia shipping industry event in Athens June 9. The next tranche of emissions-related regulations to hit the industry include the IMO's carbon intensity indicator (CII), which is an operational efficiency measure designed to increase fuel efficiency and decrease carbon emissions. The CII will be calculated by dividing a vessel's total fuel consumption by the number of nautical miles, based on which an annual rating ranging from A to E will be assigned to the vessel. First annual reporting will be completed in 2023, with the first ratings given in 2024. The potential problem with this system is that any means of lengthening the voyage can improve a vessel's CII, Abdalla said. Broadly speaking, a vessel's CII could be improved by installing energy efficient technology but also by reducing cargo volume intake, slow steaming, diverting from the shortest or quickest route on a voyage, or increasing the distance sailed, including ballast voyages. This is one of Cargill's chief concerns about the forthcoming international shipping regulations. Playing on the mathematics and increasing voyage time, such as ballast voyages, is a good example of a bad consequence of environmental legislation, Abdalla said. "Instead, we want regulations that are focusing on carbon intensity per ton-mile," she said. The effectiveness of the CII, along with the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index or EEXI, which measures the environmental credentials of the design of a ship, will be reviewed by the IMO before the start of 2026, based on which further amendments will be made. Levelling up on carbon reporting Creating a level playing field for reporting emissions is also an important area to work on, Abdalla said, noting that being able to accurately measure something is an essential step to being able to do something about it. "First of all, we are trying to bring greater transparency into the industry, through unifying methodologies and having regular reporting in place, through the Sea Cargo Charter," she said. The Sea Cargo Charter provides a global framework for aligning chartering activities with responsible environmental behavior to promote international shipping's decarbonization. Currently there is a range of different ways to report and to price carbon. Sticks and carrots Market-based measures to make polluters pay for the negative externalities they bring to shipping are also being discussed by the IMO and the European Union. Such measures are sticks that some market players believe will give an important push to cleaning up the shipping industry. But Abdalla said a more positive incentive would be clear regulations for renewable fuels, which could encourage more investment in these fuels. Ship owners currently have to think about investing in assets that could still be in use in 2050, despite the uncertain regulatory and commercial environment that far ahead. "I think once the right regulations are in place and there is more visibility of the right kind of regulatory frameworks then the energy companies are going to be incentivized to make the right investments in the new green fuels," she said.
May 30 2022
In this episode of the Oil Markets Podcast, associate editors Stepan Lavrouk, Lawrence Toye and Kelly Norways discuss with John Morley the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the fuel oil and bunker markets. Our experts explore the tightness in the VLSFO market and the way refineries and buyers are adapting to the new market fundamentals, where many companies avoid Russian product while others benefit from discounted prices. Tell us more about your podcast preferences so we can keep improving our shows. Take our two-minute survey here: https://bit.ly/plattspod22 More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
May 27 2022
The lockdowns in Shanghai have caused significant supply chain disruption around the world, but also falling container rates from their all-time highs. In this episode of the Commodities Focus podcast, Americas containers editor David Lademan speaks with Asia containers specialist Ayush Verma and managing editor George Griffiths about how the ongoing lockdowns in China amid their 'zero-COVID' policy have impacted global trade flows, and what to expect once the shutters reopen on Shanghai’s production facilities. Tell us more about your podcast preferences so we can keep improving our shows. Take our two-minute survey here: https://bit.ly/plattspod22 More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
May 13 2022
A global dislocation of clean tanker tonnage has driven freight volatility in recent weeks, as charterers scramble for barrels in east and west of Suez markets to satisfy European and South American demand. In this episode of the Commodities Focus podcast, Americas freight senior managing editor Barbara Troner speaks with EMEA middle distillate editor Rowan Staden-Coats and shipping editors Sameer Mohindru in Singapore and Chris To in London about how the Russia-Ukraine conflict has exacerbated the global shortage in diesel markets and to what extent the replacement of Russian-origin diesel barrels has driven recent volatility in the global clean tanker markets. This Commodities Focus podcast was produced by Jennifer Pedrick in Houston and Felix Fernandez in London. More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
May 12 2022
In the background of the pandemic, IMO 2020 was reshaping the landscape of traditional marine fuels. Now, more than two years since the pandemic began, the US Gulf Coast 0.5%S market has established new standards for supplying this fuel. It came with unique blending challenges. The USGC HSFO market has also taken on a new life as a secondary option as a marine fuel. In this Oil Markets podcast, S&P Global Commodity Insights' Beth Brown and Patrick Burns discuss the recent decision to eliminate hand blends from trades reported in the Platts Market on Close assessment process in the US and how trading in these markets has evolved. This Oil Markets podcast was produced by Jennifer Pedrick in Houston. More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
May 06 2022
Preliminary numbers that the Port of Los Angeles posted indicate a 5.8% drop in twenty-foot equivalent unit liftings for April against the same period a year ago, marking the second- busiest April in the port's history. While finalized numbers have yet to be released, the port estimated volumes would total 890,000 TEU for April. "A bit lighter compared to last year's torrid pace, but still strong numbers by any measure," said port Executive Director Gene Seroka at a May 6 briefing. Imports totaled 459,918 TEU, down 6.2% on the year. Empty container moves, while registering a 2% decrease against the year, remained well above pre-pandemic averages at 334,852 TEU. Soaring empty exports are indicative of ongoing national trade challenges, Seroka said, adding that efforts are needed to boost exports and ensure accessibility to US export shippers. Finalized cargo metrics will be released as soon as final April data is available, the port said in a May 6 statement. Looking forward Cargo is still finding its way out of ports throughout central China," Seroka said. "So far, there's been no dramatic change in number of vessels leaving China since lockdowns six weeks ago." The port projects May and June volumes to come in at the mid- to upper 800,000 TEU range. "While conditions could change. I don't foresee a bust coming in Trans-Pacific trade," Seroka said. "More likely, we may see a lull in volume with a fairly quick bounceback when the lockdowns end. If this lockdown goes deeper into May or June, these are issues we're going to have to grapple with." Platts Container Rate 13—North Asia-to-West Coast North America—was assessed at $8,500/FEU May 6, up $400 from the start of the week.
May 02 2022
The shipping sector faces a massive challenge in decarbonizing to meet global climate goals. To accelerate those efforts, leaders at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow last year agreed to develop at least six green shipping corridors by 2025 and many more by 2030. The Biden administration has fully supported the plan and is urging private industry to also get on board. One of the more significant corridors to emerge is between the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, and the Port of Shanghai, the world's largest port. Christopher Cannon, chief sustainability officer at the Port of Los Angeles , spoke with senior editor Meghan Gordon about how plans for the Los Angeles-Shanghai green shipping corridor are shaping up. They discussed the role fuel producers will play and which alternative fuels look most promising. Cannon also gives an update on efforts to ease West Coast port congestion and predicts another possible port backup when Chinese cities emerge from pandemic lockdowns. Stick around after the interview for Jordan Blum with the Market Minute looking at how workforce issues in the rail sector could affect shipments of oil feedstocks, ethanol, coal, grain and other commodities. This podcast was produced by Meghan Gordon in Washington and Jennifer Pedrick in Houston. Related content: Maritime sector eyes carbon price on bunker fuels as possible decarbonization solution CONTAINER QUARTERLY: Shippers look to USEC gateways amid USWC congestion, uncertainty Saudi Aramco still in engineering phase for ministry-ordered crude capacity expansion Enduring waves of climate change: Maritime decarbonization, a tempest before the calm More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).