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MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov.25.

MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, 180 HSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs) demonstrated downward changes on Nov.22:

380 HSFO - USD/MT - 343.50 (+7.18)

180 HSFO - USD/MT – 388.40(+9.03)

MGO - USD/MT – 665.46(+6.35)

Meantime, world oil indexes demonstrated irregular changes on Nov.22 on signs of a tighter physical market and more rumors that OPEC+ would extend the production cuts. But the market is still awaiting direction from the U.S.-China trade war.

Brent for January settlement decreased by $0.58 to $63.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery fell by $0.81 to $57.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $5.62 to WTI. Gasoil for December delivery increased by $2.75.

Today morning oil indexes rise as positive noises from Washington over the weekend revived optimism in global markets that the United States and China could soon sign a deal.

On Friday China’s President Xi Jinping said Beijing wanted a deal with the United States, but will fight back if necessary against his counterpart Trump’s threat that Chinese imports will face more duties from Dec 15 if a phase one agreement isn’t inked by then. But he added that his administration also intended to “restore China’s dignity and status” and ensure the history of its being invaded and ruled by colonial powers once would “never be repeated again." On Saturday, Nov.23, U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien said that an initial trade agreement with China is still possible by the end of the year. That supported oil indexes.

Still, concern remains that events in Hong Kong, riven by months of anti-government unrest, could overshadow trade talk progress. U.S. national security adviser O'Brien warned on Saturday that Washington would not turn a blind eye to what happens in Hong Kong, where demonstrators remain angry at what they see as Beijing meddling in freedoms promised to the ex-British colony when it returned to Chinese rule more than 20 years ago.

OPEC and Russia were likely to extend existing production cuts by another three months to mid-2020 when they meet over Dec. 5-6. Russian President Vladimir Putin himself lent credence to the speculation by saying OPEC will have his country’s support — despite Moscow's persistently falling short of its past promises to the cartel. OPEC turned its attention on the need for stricter deal compliance on cuts from the likes of Iraq and Nigeria. That seems to be on top of the must-do list of OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia, which detests the idea of having to carry most of the burden of the cartel’s pledged cuts that will weigh on the bottom line of its soon-to-listed Saudi Aramco company. Meanwhile, others argued that a mere extension of current curbs would fail to support the market amid what there are signs of oversupply.

The United States and France are boosting Saudi Arabia's radar systems following crippling drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure in September, which Washington blames on Iran. The chief of the U.S. Central Command and France's defense minister, whose countries have taken divergent approaches to Iran, also touted rival versions of maritime missions to protect Gulf waters at a Bahrain security forum on Saturday. More than two months after the biggest assault on Saudi oil facilities, Riyadh and Washington have yet to provide concrete proof linking Iran to the attack while Saudi Arabia has provided few details about how it is addressing gaps in its air defenses.

Tehran denies involvement in the strikes that initially halved the crude output of the world's top oil exporter and led the United States to send thousands of troops and military hardware to the kingdom.

At the same time, data from the oil service company Baker Hughes, published last Friday, indicated a continued decline in drilling activity in the United States for the fifth consecutive week. The number of operating oil production units in the country last week declined by 3 units - up to 671 units.

We expect bunker prices may demonstrate multidirectional changes today: 1-3 USD down for IFO, 1-3 USD up for MGO.