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COVID-19 - News digest as of 26.01.2021

January 26/2021

1. U.S. oil refiners set for worst earnings quarter of the pandemic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. refiners are girding for a painful slate of fourth-quarter earnings, reflecting the pressure of rising crude prices, weak demand due to renewed COVID-19 travel restrictions, and higher costs of associated with blending of renewable fuels into their products, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Seven U.S. independent refiners are projected to post an average earnings-per-share loss of USD1.51, down from a loss of USD1.06 in the third quarter of 2020, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Both Credit Suisse and Tudor Pickering Holt cut lowered the price estimates of every U.S. independent refiner for the fourth quarter.

2. Oil buying fades as risks shift to downside

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hedge funds purchased petroleum derivatives for the 11th consecutive week, but the buying impulse that started with the announcement of successful coronavirus vaccines appears to be fading, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Hedge funds and other money managers bought the equivalent of 17 million barrels in the six most important petroleum futures and options contracts in the week to Jan. 19, according to data from regulators and exchanges. Since early November, portfolio managers have purchased a total of 466 million barrels, taking their net holding to 822 million, the highest for a year.

3. OPEC "cautiously optimistic" oil market will recover in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OPEC"s secretary general said on Tuesday he was cautiously optimistic the oil market would recover this year from the slump in demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters. Monthly meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia - a grouping known as OPEC+ - are there to stop an imbalance from re-emerging, OPEC"s Mohammad Barkindo told a virtual forum. "We all agree that the recovery is fragile, there are still more uncertainties, but we are cautiously optimistic that the recovery will materialise this year," he said. Oil prices have rallied to an 11-month high this month, helped by a Jan. 5 decision by most members of OPEC+ to hold production steady in February and a pledge by Saudi Arabia to voluntarily cut output.

4. Crude climbs amid tightened supply outlooks, easing US lockdowns

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude futures settled higher Jan. 25 amid tightened supply outlooks and easing COVID-19 restrictions in the US, reported S&P Global. NYMEX March WTI settled 50 cents higher at USD52.77/b and ICE March Brent was up 47 cents at USD55.88/b. Oil prices had moved higher overnight amid reports of tightened compliance with OPEC+ production quotas. Iraq is slashing oil production to making up for the excess production over its OPEC+ output quota. It will pump 3.6 million b/d this month and next month, the lowest since 2015 and down from 3.85 million b/d in December. "OPEC remains steadfast in offering support as noted by Iraq"s plan to reduce output to the lowest since 2015 to make up for previous non-compliance," TD Securities analysts said in a note.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, crude and gaz condensate, medicine, petrochemistry, COVID-19, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA.
Category:General News
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