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Watch: Market Movers Europe, July 2-6: Libya supply disruptions to impact crude exports; gas storage injections expected to slow

In this week's Market Movers: European natural gas storage injections are expected to slow; the European Commission is to provide safeguard measures on steel imports to the European Union; and the wheat market looks set to come under continued pressure.

First off, in oil, a standoff in Libya between rival National Oil Companies is putting pressure on markets. It is becoming a particular worry for European refiners, as the dispute threatens exports from terminals that load most of the country's crude.

Meanwhile, the market will be busy unpicking the impact of last month's meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Vienna, as well as the latest pronouncements from US President Donald Trump.

This leads us to our social media question: Will OPEC's decision outweigh supply disruptions? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.

In European gas, market players will be closely watching the pace of storage injections this week, ahead of the start of a prolonged period of planned maintenance on Russian export pipelines.

Elsewhere, power traders will need to keep a close eye on French nuclear availability, with four reactors expected to return from maintenance, including one that has been offline for over three years.

Finally, in metals, the European Commission is expected to announce safeguard measures this week on steel imports into the European Union.

View Full Transcript

Video transcript In this week's highlights: European natural gas storage injections are expected to slow; the European Commission is to provide safeguard measures on steel imports to the European Union; and the wheat market looks set to come under continued pressure.

But first, in oil, a standoff in Libya between rival National Oil Companies is putting pressure on markets. It is becoming a particular worry for European refiners, as the dispute threatens exports from terminals that load most of the country's crude. Libya's Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation urged the Libyan National Army to hand back control of the key Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports after receiving a vote of confidence from the international community last week.

Last Monday, the army handed control of the key eastern oil export terminals -- Ras Lanuf and Es Sider -- to a rival oil company, the Benghazi-based NOC East. Foreign powers have outlawed loading crude from a string of ports claimed by the Libyan National Army, which has rejected Tripoli's authority in favor of NOC East. The Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation says the blockade threatens 850,000 b/d of crude, or almost 90% of Libya's total output.

Elsewhere, the market will be busy unpicking the impact of last month's meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Vienna, as well as the latest pronouncements from US President Donald Trump. In a surprise development, President Trump tweeted Saturday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase oil production by up to 2 million b/d to moderate high prices. However, the White House issued a statement later clarifying that while Trump and King Salman spoke Friday, Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil production "if and when necessary.” At the Vienna meeting last month, OPEC and its allies agreed to address supply shortfalls, but failed to overcome differences in production increases should be assigned.

S&P Global Platts will be publishing its monthly survey of OPEC production toward the end of the week. That leads us to our social media question: Will OPEC's decision outweigh supply disruptions? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.

In European gas, market players will be closely watching the pace of storage injections this week, ahead of the start of a prolonged period of planned maintenance on Russian export pipelines. With Russian flows via Ukraine only able to pick up some of the slack, storage injections may have to slow considerably so northwest Europe can meet other demand.

Power traders will need to keep a close eye on French nuclear availability, with four reactors expected to return from maintenance, including one that has been offline for over three years. As you can see from the pink line in the chart, availability has improved compared with 2017. Daily wind forecasts are now the key swing factor, even during the summer. June was the first month this year with an on-year decline and the latest forecasts show no significant pick-up for wind across Northern Europe, with strong hydro this spring failing to dampen power prices trading near 7-year-highs.

In metals, the European Commission is expected to announce safeguard measures this week on steel imports into the European Union. The measures are a direct response to a potential flood of imports related to the recently implemented US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Some downstream users have voiced concerns over the impact on steel prices if the EC introduces import restrictions. But European steel federation, Eurofer, has recommended implementation of a 25% import tariff, on top of by-country import quotas. It comes after ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel signed a definitive agreement to combine their European steel operations in a joint venture Saturday. If approved by regulators, the move could create Europe's second largest steelmaker.

Also this week, find out everything you need to know about the European LPG Market-on-Close process in our new FAQ guide. The guide can be found on our website at the address below. It describes the guidelines behind the price formation process in European LPG and how S&P Global Platts publishes the information it receives.

Thank you for kicking off your Monday with us, and have a great week ahead.