Burgeoning momentum to own oil seems poised to push oil prices higher for now. On the week, U.S commercial stocks built led by crude, while Japanese crude stocks drew strongly, according to a market report by NYC-based PIRA Energy Group. Extracts from the report follow:
Bullish Oil Prices
It is hard not to be bullish oil prices with the global economy gradually improving, tight physical oil markets and MENA turmoil, which is already substantially reducing global oil supplies and has the potential to reduce supplies further. Current positioning and likely September deflationary type headlines, due in part to a challenging calendar, but also the startup of Iranian nuclear negotiations, pose downside risks to oil prices. Yet, the burgeoning momentum to own oil seems poised to push oil prices higher for now with SPR chatter somewhat limiting the upside.
Withdrawal of Half of Libya’s Oil From the Market
Crude oil trade flows have been significantly altered in 3Q13 by the withdrawal of nearly half of Libya’s 1.4 MMB/D of oil from the market and the subsequent increase in production from Saudi Arabia to record levels to compensate for these losses and to accommodate growing global demand over the second half of the year. Tanker markets are adjusting with more West African crude staying in the Atlantic Basin, which is shifting tonnage demand to smaller vessels. More sour crude production has also benefited ship operators by lowering bunker prices, which have risen less than crude.
LPG Market Appears Tight
The slow pace of propane stock building has pushed prices higher and will keep prices supported as crop drying and winter heating demand are approaching. Gasoline blending season is starting, increasing the pull on butanes. Prompt European LPG markets are relatively tight given low arrivals in August and North Sea maintenance. More imports will be attracted from the USGC and West Africa.
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