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Crude prices recover even as bearish fundamentals persist

September 25/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures recovered slightly during the mid-morning trade in Asia Sept. 22, after the prospect of renewed lockdowns amid a potential resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic drove futures down Sept. 21, reported S&P Global.

At 11:16 am Singapore time (0316 GMT), ICE Brent November crude futures were trading at USD41.54/b, up 10 cents/b (0.24%) from the Sept. 21 settle, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude contract was at USD39.57/b, up 26 cents/b (0.66%).

This uptick in crude futures comes after the November Brent and the October WTI plummeted USD1.71/b and 1.80/b to close at USD41.44/b and USD39.31/b, respectively, on Sept. 21, following fears of renewed lockdown restrictions during the winter months, when the coronavirus is expected to spread faster.

The prospect of fresh lockdown restrictions has hit the oil market hard, since such restrictions could hamper global economic recovery, and weigh down demand for crude oil, analysts said.

"Many oil traders are subscribing to the dominant macro narrative that as far as the oil price recovery is concerned, last week's top might be as good as it gets for a while when mapping oil prices tangentially to the rebound in economic activity," said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at Axi, in a Sept. 22 note.

Concerns lingered over the lifting of the Libya blockade, which could send up to 1.1 million b/d of crude to an already oversupplied market, even as Goldman Sachs analysts forecast on Sept. 21 that Libyan production would rise by just 400,000 b/d by December due to "significant uncertainty on the timing, magnitude and sustainability" of a restart.

They added that any upside supply risk to the forecast is offset by downside supply risks from better OPEC+ compliance.

Innes also noted that OPEC+ compliance remains key to balancing supply and demand in the crude oil markets. "OPEC's call for laggards to fully comply with their quotas by year-end must be delivered to offset the Libyan increased production risks," he said.

As MRC informed earlier, global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled, according to executives, refinery workers, and industry analysts. Refiners cut output by as much as 35% in spring as coronavirus lockdowns destroyed the need for travel. As lockdowns eased, refiners increased output slowly through late August. But in top fuel consumers the United States and elsewhere, refiners have been decreasing rates for the last several weeks in response to increased inventories, a sustained lack of demand, and in response to natural disasters.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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