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Market Movers Europe, Nov 4-8: Africa Oil Week explores opportunities in oil production, refining and LNG

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Watch: Market Movers Europe, Nov 4-8: Africa Oil Week explores opportunities in oil production, refining and LNG

In this week's Market Movers: all eyes are on Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, French nuclear winter power sector will be in focus, and steel giant ArcelorMittal fears lower gains in Q3.

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In this week's Market Movers: all eyes are on Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, French nuclear winter power sector will be in focus, and steel giant Arcelor Mittal fears lower gains in

But first: Numerous floating LNG cargoes are set to keep the market well supplied in the next few weeks, despite a recent turndown in Qatari liquefaction.

The UK was Europe's leading importer of LNG in October, prompting a surge in sendout to the gas grid.

On October 30, the rate rose to 105 million cu m/d, the highest seen in over eight years.

This resulted in the UK gas market switching to a discount to the benchmark Dutch TTF gas market, as UK prices for the front month November tanked.

November is forecast to start with slightly warmer temperatures across Northwest Europe and strong winds in the UK, suggesting that the UK's NBP gas market will maintain its current discount to the Continent.

For the oil sector, this week's main event is Africa Oil Week, an annual forum for the oil and gas sector that takes place in Cape Town.

Amid doubts over global growth and oil demand, Africa's importance is hard to overestimate, as it is seen by many as one of the surest opportunities for the industry.

Countries such as Nigeria are rushing to bring their refining facilities up to speed and reduce dependence on imported oil products.

The continent is also the focus of a wave of LNG projects, from Mozambique in the east to Mauritania and Senegal in the west.

And West African crude remains vital for both international oil companies, and the consumer nations of East Asia, with Kenya, Sudan and Uganda also trying to boost their contributions.

That leads us to this week's social media question: How fast will the African oil market develop its refining facilities? Tweet us your thoughts, as always, with the hashtag #PlattsMM

Looking to the longer term, OPEC awaits on Tuesday when it presents its annual World Oil Outlook in Vienna.

The event, hosted by Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo, is the counterpart to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook, which comes out the following week, on November 13th .

These two hefty research documents are a chance to step back from the near term and look at the long-term evolution of the sector.

Providing a corporate perspective alongside Barkindo will be Rainer Seele, CEO of Austrian oil company OMV.

Turning back to the energy sector, power traders will be perusing French grid operator RTE's winter outlook this week.

The country's nuclear availability deteriorated sharply over the past two months.

At least 16 reactors are offline, with availability more than 5 gigawatts below 2018 levels.

Ten units are scheduled to return over the next two weeks, but delays are becoming almost a daily market-moving news item.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the focus is on the country's first capacity market on November 6.

Generators are bidding to receive payments for 2022, in return for which they must be available to the market, helping grid operator Terna ensure security of supply.

Finally, the steel market is anxiously awaiting the reporting, due Thursday, of third-quarter results by ArcelorMittal.

ArcelorMittal is the world's largest steelmaker.

An estimate made last week by 20 analysts put the steel giant's Q3 EBITDA at $930 million.

That's a significant reduction from the $2.7 billion EBITDA the company reported in Q3 2018.

The news comes against a continued troubled backdrop in European steel.

Apparent steel demand in the EU is expected to sink 3.1% to 158 million metric tons.

That's the biggest drop since 2012, European steel association Eurofer said last week.

After a consumption fall of 7.7% year-on-year in the second quarter, preliminary data for Q3 suggests that apparent steel consumption may have declined by approximately 2.5% year-on-year, due to continuing weakness in the manufacturing sector, with an upturn glimpsed only in 2020.

And on that downbeat note, thanks for kicking off your Monday with us, and have a great week ahead!