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MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov.17.

MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, VLSFO and MGO Gasoil) in the main world hubs) continued to decline on Nov.16:

380 HSFO - USD/MT - 308.11 (-1.94)

VLSFO - USD/MT – 365.00 (-2.00)

MGO - USD/MT – 430.65 (-3.05)

Meantime, world oil indexes increased on Nov.16 on hopes that OPEC+ will hold current output curbs and optimism amid a vaccine for COVID-19.

Brent for January settlement increased by $1.04 to $43.82 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. West Texas Intermediate for December rose by $1.21 to $41.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent benchmark traded at the premium of $2.48 to WTI. Gasoil for December delivery added $8.00.

Today oil indexes continue to rise as multiple vaccine makers delivered positive information on their progress.

Moderna Inc has released information about its candidate mRNA-1273, which has both a greater efficacy and better storage conditions than the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech product BNT162b, giving rise to optimism about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last week, Pzifer/BioNTech, Moderna, CureVac NV, Sanofi SA /GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson have all released some details of the status of their COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna’s candidate has both a better efficacy rate than the Pfizer/BioNtech version (94.5% vs 90%) and far greater ease of storage and transport, with required temperatures reportedly approximating those of a standard medical or home refrigerator. Moderna plans to file for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the coming weeks and submit applications for authorizations to global regulatory agencies. At the same time, a vaccine for many people around the world will unlikely be available until late into 2021.

Besides, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+) will likely extend their current supply cuts for a minimum of three months. That gave more support to oil indexes. OPEC+ is due to hold a Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee today as a prelude to its full meeting, the 180th Meeting of the OPEC Conference on Nov. 30 and the 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on Dec. 1. The body's Joint Technical Committee met on Nov.16. OPEC+ has been cutting production by about 7.7 million barrels a day, with a compliance rate seen at 101% in October, and had planned to increase output by 2 million bpd from January.

However, the speedy recovery of oil production in OPEC member Libya back to above 1.2 million bpd presents a challenge to OPEC+ cuts, while a slowdown in traffic across Europe and the United States dampened fuel demand recovery hopes this winter.

At the same time, figures showing a rebound in the world's second and third largest economies, China and Japan, also supported prices, along with data that Chinese refineries processed the most crude ever in October on a daily basis. In China, crude oil refinery throughputs increased by 2.6 percent year on year in October, setting a new refinery run record of 14.09 million barrels per day (bpd). The previous record was 14.08 million bpd, set in June this year. Chinese fuel demand held firm last month, with gasoline demand steady during a holiday early in October, while domestic jet fuel demand has nearly reached pre-crisis levels.

Another statement that supports fuel indexes is that, Joe Biden’s COVID advisory team said that a national lockdown in the United States would be a “measure of last resort,” which gave markets hope that the economy and oil demand would not be as severely hit as they were in the lockdown in the spring.

We expect bunker prices may rise today: 5-7 USD up for IFO and 6-8 USD up for MGO.