On this week's Platts Market Movers Asia with Asia Shipping Senior Editor Sameer Mohindru: Asian oil markets await clarity from OPEC+, Chinese refiners slash July oil product exports, and LNG prices hit multi-year highs during a scorching summer
This week: Asian oil markets await clarity from OPEC+, Chinese refiners slash July oil product exports, and Asia-Pacific LNG prices hit multi-year highs during a scorching summer
But first, the fate of OPEC+ ministerial talks hang in the balance, with no decision reached by early July 5 on an agreement to gradually increase crude oil production.
The ministers adjourned their online meeting July 2 after two days of talks and will reconvene later July 5 to continue the discussions.
All members of the coalition except the UAE appear to endorse a plan to boost output by 400,000 b/d each month from August to December.
But the UAE is reportedly insisting its baseline production level, from which its quota is determined, should be raised.
Clarity on OPEC+ quotas will help ease concern among Asian buyers about rising oil prices, which have crossed the $75/b mark.
So, our social media question this week is:
Do you think OPEC+ will reach agreement to gradually increase oil output?
Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag PlattsMM.
In China, traders expect national oil companies to slash their gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel exports to a 6-year low of 1.15 million mt in July amid tight quota allocations and strong domestic demand.
China's refiners have burnt through existing export quotas and are waiting for new quotas to be allocated.
The country's refiners are some of the largest exporters of refined products in the region, and healthy sales margins in the domestic market could discourage many from selling their cargoes overseas.
In LNG, Asia-Pacific spot prices are surging, with Platts JKM surpassing the $14/MMbtu level last week for August cargoes.
This is one of the highest price levels for LNG seen in the Asian summer, and is being driven by strong demand from China, healthy power demand, and a spattering of supply outages.
Asian LNG prices are also being supported by record high gas prices in Europe and the US.
Low inventories and expectations of tightening supply from Russia are adding further upward pressure.
In metals, all eyes will be on the release of steel data that is due for release by China this week.
Steel inventories are expected to pile up in July due to slow seasonal demand, while steel prices, output and orders are all set to soften, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
In thermal coal, prices for cargoes from Australia are expected to remain firm this week due to high demand from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, while Indonesian prices face downward pressure as Chinese buyers wait on the sidelines due to a possible change in government policy.
And finally, in petrochemicals,a container shortage and high freight costs are expected to continue restraining exports of polymer resins and downstream plastics goods this week, further raising stock levels for export-oriented manufacturers in Asia.
However, buying interest for polymers will likely remain cautious, and logistics challenges will constrain the volume of recycled plastics shipped from Asia to Europe and the US, where prices are more attractive.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us. Have a great week ahead!