U.S. Petroleum Inventory Drops, Oil Prices Soar Higher
Oil's eight-month rally hit yet another high today as dealers cited news that U.S. petroleum inventories had dropped to near-three-year lows as proof OPEC supply curbs were biting deep ahead of winter. Benchmark Brent crude blend touched $24.30 a barrel, a 33-month high, after the American Petroleum Institute said crude stocks in the world's biggest oil consumer fell by 3.7 million barrels last week to stand at their lowest levels in almost three years.
Oil Edges To 20 Month High
What goes down must come up? The world oil markets have again demonstrated the flair for the dramatic swing, moving higher on Wednesday, powered by stringent OPEC export limits and positive stocks news from the U.S. London August futures for benchmark Brent crude traded to a 20-month peak of 19.43 a barrel.
Oil Price Just Down From Two-Year Highs Set Last Week
Oil markets placed another bet on tightening supply, supporting prices in the vicinity of 22-month highs touched last week. Benchmark Brent for September hit $20.87 a barrel today, just 13 cents off a Friday peak of $21 that was the crude's highest value in almost two years.
London Brent Futures Set New High
London IPE Brent oil futures set a new 22-month high of $21.30 a barrel in early trade today, jumping 54 cents from Friday's close. Dealers said a renewed pledge by leading exporters to retain tight curbs on exports was behind the price rise.
Persian Gulf Tanker Rates 11-Month High
According to a Dec. 17 report from the Nigerian website, www.punchng.com, the cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world‘s busiest route for supertankers, rose to an 11-month high because of reduced supply of vessels for hire. Charter rates for very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, on the industry benchmark Saudi Arabia to Japan route climbed 1.4 percent to 57.75 Worldscale points according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. (Source: www.punchng.com)
Shell Lifts 'force majeure' for Forcados Liftings
Royal Dutch Shell lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria's Forcados crude oil, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The grade, which typically exports 200,000-240,000 barrels per day (bpd) had been under force majeure since February 2016 following a militant attack on the main export route, the Trans Forcados Pipeline. Last week Shell issued a loading programme for June exports that lifted planned exports from Nigeria to at least a 15-month high. Reporting by Libby George
Vestas Profit Beats Forecast
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems posted much higher than expected second-quarter earnings and slightly increased its guidance for the full year, signaling its turnaround from the brink of collapse has taken hold. Its shares opened up more than 5 percent on Wednesday, touching a two-month high of 290 Danish crowns, and were trading 2.7 percent higher at 282.6 crowns by 0715 GMT. Vestas said earnings before special items jumped to 104 million euros ($138 million) from 12 million a year ago, compared to analysts' expectations of 63 million.
Asian LNG Prices Rise to Highest Levels
Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas prices reached a nine-month high this week as demand from India, Japan and South Korea underpinned sentiment, reports Reuters. LNG for November delivery were about $6.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), 10 cents higher than last week, as supply-demand balances for the rest of the year appear tighter, said three traders who participate in the market. That is the highest since the week ending Jan. Higher crude prices are also lending support to LNG values.
Venezuela Crisis Deepens, Oil Prices Soar
As the politically induced strikes continue to sweep Venezuela, oil prices jumped to a two month high, reflecting the lack of output from the world's fifth largest oil exporter. International benchmark Brent soared 86 cents to $28.07 a barrel by early afternoon in London, its highest level since October 17. U.S. crude futures jumped 64 cents to $29.08. The strikes have been spurred by a serious division among the Venezuelan people, half who are trying to force controversial president Hugo Chavez to resign, and half who staunchly support the embattled leader. Crude oil has risen by 20 percent in the past month because of the Venezuelan stoppage and the threat of a U.S. attack on Iraq.
OOCL Tops the Chart in Reliability
According to the latest Carrier Performance Insight, produced by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, the most reliable carrier in May was Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), which had an on-time reliability average of 81.1%, closely followed by niche carrier Wan Hai at 81.01%. Taiwanese container line Evergreen ranked third with a score of 80.3%. The report shows that ocean carriers achieved a six-month high for liner service reliability in May. The on-time average of 76.0 per cent for the 10 trades covered was a 4.1 point improvement on April…
Brent Crude at 27-month High Even as U.S. Exports spike
Saudi Crown Prince takes bullish stance on supply cut deal; U.S. crude inventories show surprise build even as crude exports hit new record four-week average. Brent crude closed at a 27-month high on Thursday as the market focused more on comments from Saudi Arabia about ending a global supply glut instead of an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories and high U.S. production and exports. Brent futures gained 86 cents, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $59.30 a barrel, its highest close since July 3, 2015. U.S.
Baltic Index Gains for 9th Straight Session
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, notched gains for the ninth straight session to end at a more than one-month high on Monday, helped by higher rates for panamax vessels. The index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, closed up three points, or 0.34 percent, at 878 points, its highest level since Jan. 24. The panamax index ended 19 points, or 2.01 percent, higher at 966 points.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Steady
Brazil-China capesize rates hit seven-month high; Pacific capesize market dragged by buoyant tonnage supply. Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers are likely to hold steady next week although a rush of cargo in the Atlantic would again provide the trigger for rates to move higher, ship brokers said. That came after a surge in Atlantic and transatlantic cargoes boosted capesize freight rates from Brazil to China by almost $2 a tonne to a seven-month high this week. The increase was equivalent to a rise in time charter earnings of about $4,500 per day, according to British shipping services firm Clarkson. "All eyes (are on the Atlantic)," said a Singapore-based capesize broker.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates May Dip
Rates from Western Australia to China fall from six-month high. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes could slide next week as charterers rein in their activity following a flurry of fixtures which pushed rates from Western Australia to China to a six-month high this week, ship brokers said on Thursday. That came as all three Australian iron ore miners - Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group - cashed in on higher iron ore prices with a raft of fixtures this week. Iron ore prices have climbed from a low of $37 a tonne in December to around $56 a tonne this week. "There were two days of optimism where the market was pushing up and everything is looking rosy…
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Flat as Rally Fades
Higher fuel prices could help lift freight rates - Shanghai broker. Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are likely to hold around the current levels, after a revival in charter rates this week ran out of steam as the fundamentals of too many ships chasing little cargo remained unchanged, ship brokers said. "Next week is going to be flat," said a Shanghai-based capesize broker on Thursday. "But bunker prices might give some support for owners to push the market up. So we might see a little improvement in the rates," the broker said.
Merger Talks In Singapore
Shares of Keppel Hitachi Zosen Ltd. and Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd. surged on market talk the two units of the Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp. would be merged. Ship repair specialist Keppel Hitachi jumped as much as 47 percent to an eight-month high of S$0.575 before moving back to S$0.51, up 12 cents, in moderate trade of 3.7 million shares. KepFELS, which also has a marine business, rose eight cents to S$0.935 after surging as much as 17 percent earlier to S$1.00 -- a level not seen since the middle of March. Volume was high with more than 10 million shares traded. "The rumours are not new. It seems that day traders were riding the wave," said a senior trader at a local brokerage. A Keppel official said she was "not aware of any corporate development".
Thrane & Thrane Buys Nera's Satellite Units
Danish satellite communication equipment maker Thrane & Thrane said on Monday it bought the satellite units of Norwegian Nera for around half a billion Danish crowns ($61.5 million), sending its shares to a four-month high. For the two units Nera SatCom and Nera WBA Satellite, Thrane & Thrane will pay 235 million crowns in cash and around three million new shares corresponding to around 40 percent of Thrane's total capital after a share capital increase. "The intention is to create a leading manufacturer within satellite ground equipment with the strength to participate in both the mobile and the broadband market segments," Thrane said in a statement.
Demand, Bunker Pricing Spurs Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates
Owners asking $1 per tonne more on Australia-China rates; Panamax rates climb to two-month high, but remain under pressure. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes could continue to firm next week on higher cargo volumes and bunker prices, while upbeat shipowner sentiment will also support the market, ship brokers said. "The market is pushing up a little bit. Owners' ideas though are even higher - they are indicating about $1 per tonne more on rates from eastern Australia," a Shanghai-based capesize ship broker said on Thursday.
US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 7th Week in a Row
U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for a seventh week in a row, extending a seven-month drilling recovery as crude prices held near a 17-month high. Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January, but still below 541 rigs a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. Since crude prices briefly recovered from 13-year lows to around $50 a barrel in May, drillers have added oil rigs in 26 of the past 29 weeks for a total of 194, the biggest recovery in rigs since a global oil glut crushed the market over two years. Almost two-thirds of the rigs added since May…
Prices Stay High As OPEC Plans To Maintain Curbs
Oil prices marched boldly along near 32-month highs last week after key OPEC exporters said output cuts should be kept in place until March next year. On Sept. 14 Benchmark Brent blend for delivery in October was trading 20 cents firmer at $23.68 a barrel, just four cents off a 32-month high touched the day before. Brokers cautioned that technical factors to do with the expiry Sept. 15 of the October contract on London's futures market had inflated Brent's value. However, they agreed the trend was moving in favor of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the producer group of Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Latin American countries responsible for 60 percent of the world's oil exports.
Jotun Offers New Ship Performance Solution
Jotun Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) has launched the HPS Newbuilding Solution at Kormarine in Busan, South Korea. The HPS Newbuilding solution is aimed at yards delivering vessels with eco-design and who want to maximize the energy efficiency at both speed trial and in operation. “With HPS Newbuilding Solution Jotun enables yards to become more competitive when bidding for eco-ship projects. The solution provides an opportunity to both optimize initial performance as well as lifetime performance. The solution thereby serves the long term interests of the designers, yards, owners, operators and the environment,” says Mr Geir Boe, Vice President Jotun Marine Coatings.
Colonial Pipeline Demand at 2-Month Nadir
Demand to ship gasoline on Colonial Pipeline has sunk to a two-month low as Gulf Coast supplies are increasingly being exported or sent to the Midwest rather than to the New York harbor, three sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Colonial Pipeline Co, the largest U.S. fuel network, has consistently allocated space for at least the past two months, meaning demand has exceeded capacity on the pipeline. But it would not ration space on its main gasoline line for the next five-day shipping cycle, known as "Cycle 2," the sources said, which suggests lower demand.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Firm as Weather Delays Weigh
Brazil-China rates climb to a 15-month high; about 80 capesize, panamax ships waiting to unload around Tianjin. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to remain firm for at least two more weeks as bad weather conditions in China and Australia help tighten the supply of ships available for charter, ship brokers said. That came as capesize charter rates from Brazil to China climbed to a 15-month high on Thursday. The surge in freight rates…