The average API density of European crude imports continues to rise in early 2023 as imports from the US remain robust, which has been keeping demand for heavier grades high, with Europe increasingly leaning towards Latin America for these barrels.
Following a series of extensive stakeholder consultations and proposal periods, price reporting agencies S&P Global Commodity Insights (Platts) and Argus announced that WTI Midland will be included as part of their physical North Sea Brent basket price assessments, from June 2023 deliveries onwards. This widely accepted decision comes as a result of the dwindling production from the North Sea and the need to introduce new barrels to maintain the benchmark’s robustness.
OPEC+ members remain committed to keeping output quotas unchanged until the end of this year, with the group expected to gradually take back market share over time as non-OPEC sources of supply run out of steam.
As the first of the oil majors publish their annual results in 2022, we take the opportunity to extract the key takeaways from these releases. After a very strong start to 2022 within both the up and downstream segments of the market, it is no surprise that earnings came in at historical record highs finishing at nearly double the levels realized through 2021.
As the dust settles on November crude exports, the impact of winter storms appears to have halted a three-month consecutive streak of record monthly exports. But there is one record achieved in November – that of a high watermark for daily crude exports. On 17 November, after a lone 693 kb loading on the previous day from Houston, some 12.45 Mb were loaded across five ports – the highest volume since the US crude export ban was lifted in late 2015.
Crude ton-miles began the year trending below the five-year average, but since VLCC exports began to rise in June, growth has been rapid. While the order of the major VLCC routes has been consistent compared with previous years, there have been upheavals in the Suezmax and Aframax markets following the Russian war in Ukraine. Crude tanker demand is on course to finish the year on a high, but the prospects for next year are less rosy.
Oil markets have rallied last week despite a yet still hawkish tone from Jerome Powell, the FED governor. Rumours around China potentially lifting its sticky zero-covid policy have helped propel front-month prices for Brent by 6% in four days to just under $99/bbl. However, markets could be jumping the gun too early. Chinese authorities have tempered some hope about a turnaround in the country’s zero-covid policy.
Kpler launches a crude supply and demand assessment tool to help crude market professionals and downstream consumers better navigate the turbulent and uncertain global crude markets.
German refiners have begun phasing out Russian-origin imports in advance of EU-27 sanctions on Russian crude, resulting in a reshuffling of crude and condensate flows and a rise in seaborne imports into the country.