In this week's highlights: It's earnings week for oil and gas majors; the world of metal will descend on London for LME Week; and there will be key talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU on gas transit.
In this week's highlights: It's earnings week for oil and gas majors; the world of metal will descend on London for LME week; and there will be key talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU on gas transit
In oil, it's the corporate results season and the market will be looking to see how oil and gas companies have coped with significantly lower prices, with Brent down about 13 dollars a barrel in the third quarter compared with a year earlier.
Gas prices too were sharply lower.
Just as importantly, companies should provide a view on the outlook for the months to come.
BP, Shell, Total and a host of smaller European companies publish their results starting Tuesday, along with Chevron and ExxonMobil in the US.
Some have already flagged difficulties such as hurricanes that hampered operations in the third quarter.
But companies such as OMV and Total have also been reporting fairly strong refining margins in recent months, traditionally a busy period for the refining industry.
This week will mark a very busy period for the metals market as the industry gathers in London for the annual LME week.
The topics of discussion will include whether the recent nickel rally is looking overdone.
Another talking point, as you can see from the chart, will be whether copper could be due a break out of its tight trading range and is the electric-vehicle revolution finally starting to warm up.
That brings us to our social media question of the week: How can transparency in the battery metals supply chain can be increased, ensuring that metals are ethically sourced? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #PlattsMM.
Moving from metals to plastic, the petrochemical complex is braced for November contract discussions this week against a bearish backdrop.
The end of cracker maintenances and weak downstream derivatives demand has caused an oversupply of feedstock olefins.
Ethylene is a raw material used in the production of plastics such as polythene, bottle material PET, PVC, polystyrene and others.
Contract price drops are not just contained to olefin markets, with a large fall expected in the benzene contract price.
Benzene is an aromatic also used in plastics production.
Spot prices at the end of last week were trading 160 dollars a metric ton lower than the October benzene contract price, with no strong support expected to develop in the short term
In European gas, there is a key meeting in Brussels on Monday between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission to hammer out gas transit terms for 2020 and beyond.
The European Commission is worried that without a deal Russian gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine could be disrupted from January 1.
Ukraine is currently Russia's biggest single transit route to the EU, carrying over 40% of Russian supplies in 2018, and heading for a similar share this year, as this chart shows.
Gazprom though has said it cannot sign a new transit deal with Naftogaz until all legal issues between the parties are resolved.
This looks unlikely, given that arbitration appeals are expected to be heard into mid-2021.
Ukraine also needs to complete the creation of a new gas grid operator in time to sign a new deal by the end of the year.
So the pressure is on to reach some kind of a deal, and the market will be watching the outcome closely.
Thank you for kicking off your Monday with us, it's always a pleasure, and have a lovely week ahead!