In this week's highlights: The EU is to unveil its ambitious hydrogen strategy; the S&P Global Platts OPEC+ survey will give some insight into compliance; Europe's dwindling gas storage capacity will be in focus; and an update is due on the state of the European steel market.
- EU to unveil ambitious hydrogen strategy
- OPEC+ compliance in the spotlight
- Ukraine, LNG hold key to crammed EU gas storage
- Eurometal to provide update on EU steel market
- Signs of demand recovery in European methanol market
In this week's highlights: The S&P Global Platts OPEC+ survey will give some insight into compliance; Europe's dwindling gas storage capacity will be in focus; and an update is due on the state of the European steel market.
But first, on Wednesday the European Commission is due to publish its official hydrogen strategy.
The strategy is widely anticipated to shoot for a hugely ambitious global leadership role for Europe in sustainable hydrogen production.
A draft indicates the EU may need to invest more than 300 billion euros by 2030 to develop and deploy large-scale renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.
It includes a goal for the EU to produce up to 1 million metric tons of renewable hydrogen by 2024, with at least 4 gigawatts of electrolyzer capacity installed, rising to between 5 and 10 million metric tons by 2030, with at least 40 gigawatts of electrolyzers installed.
While the European Commission is looking out into the wide blue or green yonder, S&P Global Platts will be publishing its OPEC+ oil production survey for June this week. As the coalition tightens the market through its historic production cut accord, the issue of who is in compliance and who is not will be in sharp focus. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman pledged additional voluntary cuts totaling some 1.2 million b/d in June, which should boost the compliance rate.
While the issue for the oil market is where flows are coming from, for the gas market it is where they are going. The amount of gas in European storages has ballooned, causing all eyes to focus on the rate of injections.
Looking at this chart EU stocks are currently more than 80% full, leaving only limited space for injection, with three months of the traditional injection season left.
However, injection rates have slowed significantly over the past few weeks as European gas prices have risen from their mid-May lows, making the seasonal storage play less attractive.
Ukraine remains an option for traders looking to find a home for their gas because it has vast, cheap storage capacity. This is despite planned maintenance on a pipeline from Slovakia potentially making it more difficult to flow gas into Ukraine.
Also crucial will be whether US LNG cargoes start arriving in Europe in greater volumes again from the end of August. This could cause storage injections to pick up.
And that brings us to our social media question: How do you see gas storage injection rates developing in Europe in the coming weeks? Send us your feedback by tweeting with the hashtag #PlattsMM.
Finding homes for products will also be on the agenda when European steel distributors and stockholders' association, Eurometal, holds a webinar on Thursday about current conditions in the steel market. Eurometal's webinar comes as some in the market say the steel sector is showing early signs of recovery as the easing of coronavirus lockdowns means the European construction and automotive sectors are starting up again.
However, any rebound will be from a low base. Flat steel product shipments from EU steel service centers fell by 18.5% on the year in January-April, while long products shipments fell 8.7%, with only rebar shipments increasing.
And finally, to petrochemicals, where signs of demand recovery are also emerging in the methanol market. Inventory levels in Rotterdam are also normalizing with healthy water levels along the River Rhine making it easier it to move the product to inland consumers as demand generally grows
Manufacturers of key plastics commodities such as polyethylene, PVC and polypropylene are digesting last week's delayed industry-settled July olefins contract price settlements, reviewing margins and looking to see if any of these increases can be passed downstream. The contract prices of ethylene and propylene increased by around 12%.
For more on all the issues affecting commodity markets, please check out Platts Live, a new section of our website that has been created for our customers to continue engaging with us, and each other. You can find it at the address displayed on your screen.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!