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Market Movers Europe, Aug 9-13: Company results and industry reports expected, as gas prices reach record highs

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Assistir: Market Movers Europe, Aug 9-13: Company results and industry reports expected, as gas prices reach record highs

In this week's highlights: All eyes are on the IEA and OPEC reports, and recovery for oil demand in Europe; exceptional results are expected for German steel companies; European gas prices remain high; and container rates from Asia to Europe look set for further increases.

  • Focus on IEA, OPEC reports, European recovery (0:11)
  • Bumper results expectations for steel companies (1:10)
  • European gas prices at record highs; all eyes on Russia (1:49)
  • Container freight rates set for further increases (2:51)
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In this week's highlights: All eyes are on the IEA and OPEC reports, and recovery for oil demand in Europe; exceptional results are expected for German steel companies; European gas prices remain high; and container rates from Asia to Europe look set for further increases.

But first, the oil market is digesting Saudi Aramco results released over the weekend, and the latest capex guidance from the world's largest crude exporter. Aramco's net profit soared to $25.5 billion, from $6.6 billion a year earlier. We're also looking ahead to two closely watched reports on the global oil market, from the International Energy Agency and OPEC, both due Thursday. Oil prices have been buoyed by a consumption recovery in the US and Europe. A last-minute easing of summer travel restrictions is expected to further support demand. On August third, BP raised its medium-term oil price assumptions, citing constraints on oil supply, both from OPEC+ countries, and the US shale sector. Against this, concerns about the pandemic resurgence in East Asia, and weaker Chinese crude imports have been weighing on the global price outlook, with Brent futures briefly dipping below seventy dollars in recent days.

On to the metals market as the financial results season continues in the steel industry.

This week, German steel companies Thyssenkrupp, Salzgitter and Kloeckner are expected to report exceptional quarterly results, in line with their peers, as steel prices have reached record highs amid material shortages. Despite rising raw material costs, steel producers have been able to maintain high margins by hiking their selling prices. Rail infrastructure remains hampered in Germany's steel production hub, following devastating floods in July. Market participants suggest that this will intensify material shortages and support steel prices.

Turning to the European gas market now, and prompt prices remain well above €40/MWh due to tight supply conditions, and all eyes remain focused on Russia, to see whether flows via Belarus and Poland into Germany will pick back up. Since the end of July, flows into Germany at the Mallnow entry point have been sharply reduced, in what is apparently a commercial decision by Gazprom, rather than an outage. The Russian company uses the route to supply European customers, with the reduction in flows adding to the bullish picture for European gas. Other factors that have driven prices up include strong competition from Asia for LNG cargoes, Russian supply constraints also via Ukraine, outages in Norway, high carbon prices, and very low gas storage stocks.

That brings us to this week's social media question: How far can gas prices rise before this bullish run comes to an end? Tweet us your thoughts at #PlattsMM.

And finally, container freight rates from Asia to Europe are looking set for further increases to all-time high levels, as demand continues to strengthen and logistical issues dog the market.

As this chart shows, container prices have already skyrocketed over the course of the year. This increase has come on surging demand, as importers seek to refill their significantly depleted warehouses, following lockdowns and weaker imports throughout much of 2020. This is expected to continue into the peak season, between August and October, as shippers seek to move their goods in time for pre-Christmas sales. Platts Container Rate 11 – North Asia to UK – rose to $18500 per forty-foot equivalent unit on August 6, compared to $1500 per FEU a year earlier, a more than twelve-fold increase.

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Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!