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Crude futures rangebound in Asia trade as US inventories snap 6-week fall

September 14/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were rangebound in mid-morning trade in Asia Sept. 11 after the US Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected build in US commercial crude inventories after six weeks of declines and the coronavirus pandemic continued to cloud the global macroeconomic outlook, reported S&P Global.

At 09:28 am Singapore time (0128 GMT), ICE Brent November crude futures were down 9 cents/b (0.22%) from the Sept. 10 settle at USD39.97/b, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude contract was 1 cent/b (0.03%) lower at USD37.29/b.

"US and global crude oil prices fell on Thursday (Sept. 10) after US government data showed US domestic crude inventory increased for the first time since mid-July amidst wavering gasoline demand, with inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma rising to the highest since May and US crude production increased slightly," UOB analysts said in a note Sept. 11.

US commercial crude inventories rose 2.03 million barrels to 500.43 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 4, roughly 14% above the five-year average, EIA data released Sept. 10 showed. Notably, it was the first build after six consecutive weeks of drawdown in US crude stocks.

Total US gasoline stocks fell 2.95 million barrels to 231.91 million barrels over the same period, while distillate stocks slipped 1.68 million barrels to 175.85 million barrels, as the lingering impact of Hurricane Laura continued to curtail refinery runs.

However, refined product demand also remained weak, with US gasoline demand slipping 400,000 b/d to 8.39 million b/d in the week ended Sept. 4, the lowest since the week ended July 12.

The continued spread of COVID-19 worldwide remains the key drag on the energy demand outlook. Global COVID-19 infections currently exceed 28 million cases, with 907,377 deaths, latest data from John Hopkins University showed.

"The correction in oil was overdue in my view given a slowing demand recovery and rising supply in the near term. Still, medium and longer-term fundamentals suggest limited downside for oil from here," Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note Sept. 11.

"Any dips will likely be sentiment-linked and short-lived, with a tightening market driving a gradual recovery through $45/b into year end," he added.

At 09:28 am Singapore time (0128 GMT), the NYMEX October RBOB stood at USD1.0955, down 0.2% from the previous settle, while October ULSD stood at USD1.0804/gal, down 0.18% from its previous close.

Earlier this year, as MRC wrote before, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.

And in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, BASF, Borealis, BP Plc, LyondellBasell, Sabic, Total Petrochemicals, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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