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Watch: Market Movers Asia, Sep 3-7: US and India talks to include Iranian crude; China port restrictions divert seaborne coal

Talks between the US and Indian governments this week in New Delhi will likely include discussion of India's request to continue importing some Iranian crude oil after US sanctions resume in November. As one of Tehran's top oil customers, India's plans will play a major role in how much Iranian exports drop after November.

All eyes are also on Middle Eastern official selling prices. Asian end-users are hoping for steep cuts in light sour Persian Gulf crude OSPs amid competition from various US grades as well as Kuwait's new Super Light and Russia's ESPO Blend.

In thermal coal, Australian and Indonesian shippers are coming to terms with stricter port restrictions in China.

In shipping, freight rates are seen bearish for Supramax and Capesize markets.

In metals, battery grade lithium carbonate CIF North Asia price has fallen 17% since its launch in May. S&P Global Platts will launch three new prices from September 7: lithium carbonate DDP China, lithium hydroxide CIF North Asia, and lithium hydroxide DDP China.

View Full Transcript

This week: Asia refiners keep an eye on Middle Eastern crude OSPs, China port restrictions divert coal shipments, and sentiment turns bearish for Asian freight rates.

But first, talks between the US and Indian governments this week in New Delhi will likely include discussion of India's request to continue importing some Iranian crude oil after US sanctions resume in November. As one of Tehran's top oil customers, India's plans will play a major role in how much Iranian exports drop after November. India recently signed its first term contract to import US crude to lock in low prices, a topic that might also come up during the meeting.

Will India keep importing Iranian crude? Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag PlattsMM.

In crude oil, all eyes are on Middle Eastern official selling prices.

Asian refiners will be paying close attention to new rounds of Middle Eastern crude OSPs this week. Asian end-users are especially hoping for steep cuts in light sour Persian Gulf crude OSPs amid competition from various US grades as well as Kuwait's new Super Light and Russia's ESPO Blend. With rival grades competing for the Asian market, Abu Dhabi's light sour Murban crude saw its differential against second-month Dubai swap tumble to a premium of $2.51/b last month, the lowest level since last October.

Australian and Indonesian thermal coal shippers are coming to terms with stricter port restrictions in China. Cargoes are unable to discharge at some ports, particularly in Guangxi province, and are having to divert to other ports on the eastern coast. The official reason for this is that many southern coastal plants in China have already used up their import quotas for the year.

Supramax freight rates across Asia Pacific held steady last week, but are expected to fall in the near future. Congestion at Chinese ports is easing and releasing more vessels into the market. Sentiment is also bearish for Capesize freight rates for the Asia Pacific and Atlantic routes. The lack of market confidence and weakening freight derivative market rates prompted a source to describe the short-term outlook as pretty bleak.

Battery grade lithium carbonate CIF North Asia price has fallen 17% since its launch in May. S&P Global Platts will launch three new prices from Friday: lithium carbonate DDP China, lithium hydroxide CIF North Asia, and lithium hydroxide DDP China.

Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us. Have a great week ahead!