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MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb.06.

MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, VLSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs demonstrated irregular changes on Feb. 05:

380 HSFO - USD/MT - 355.27 (+0.79)

VLSFO - USD/MT – 533.00 (-6.00)

MGO - USD/MT – 606.64(-2.09)

Meantime, world oil indexes increased on Feb. 05 amid reports of a breakthrough in the fight to combat China’s coronavirus, coupled with expectations that the group of major producers will cut production levels.

Brent for April settlement increased by $1.32 to $55.28 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for March rose by $1.14 to $51.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $4.53 to WTI. Gasoil for February delivery added $14.50.

Today morning oil indexes continue upward changes on hopes that OPEC+ will agree on deeper cuts in response to virus-led demand destruction.

China's Changjiang Daily newspaper reported on Feb.04 that a team of researchers led by Zhejiang University Professor Li Lanjuan had found that drugs Abidol and Darunavir can inhibit the virus. At the same time, researchers in the UK saying they made a "significant breakthrough" in finding a vaccine by reducing part of the normal development time from two to three years to only 14 days. Neither has apparently been tested yet. And the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, that there is still no known effective therapeutics.

Technical experts from OPEC+, are continuing to meet at the cartel’s Vienna headquarters to evaluate the disease’s impact on demand. The view of these experts may help determine whether the alliance convenes a ministerial meeting later this month, instead of in March as currently scheduled.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for an additional production cut of at least 500,000 barrels a day, according to some OPEC+ delegates, but Russia is reluctant to make deeper moves. Even if these cuts are agreed, the impact they might have upon oil prices is debatable. Moreover an OPEC+ committee extended its meeting into a third day to Feb.06 and would debate again the need to cut oil output in response to the coronavirus' impact on energy demand and global economic growth. BP stated on Feb.04 that the coronavirus could cut demand by up to 500,000 barrels a day for the year, while OPEC’s own analysis indicates a modest drop of around 400,000 barrels a day for about six months. Delegates are also expected to discuss whether to bring forward a ministerial meeting currently scheduled for March 5-6, according to OPEC sources.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. oil stockpiles rose more than anticipated last week. Oil inventories rose by 3.35 million barrels for the last week. It was expected a build of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline inventories dropped unexpectedly by 91,000 barrels, versus expectations for a rise of about 2.1 million barrels. Distillate stockpiles fell by 1.5 million barrels, compared with forecasts to remain about flat.

The state-owned Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Feb.04 that the country’s daily production of crude oil has dropped from more than 1.2 million barrels to fewer than 200,000 as a result of the closure of oil fields and ports. Tribal leaders in eastern Libya closed oil ports recently, accusing the UN-backed Libyan government of using oil revenues to support armed groups against the east-based army.

We expect bunker prices may rise today: 5-7 USD up for IFO, 12-14 USD up for MGO.