Crude/Condensate: Jul 30-Aug 3: Four VLCCs of US Mars bound for Asia in Oct

6 Aug, 2018

Middle East Crude

For Kuwait grades, state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) sold a total of six cargoes of Kuwait Super Light (KSL) for September-loading via its tender. KSL was a new grade that had started exports in July and the current production appeared to have reached 100,000 bbl per day (b/d). KPC was highly likely to export the same volumes of October-loading KSL as September-loading. A Japanese end-user regarded KSL values as a premium of around $2.00 to the average of Dubai/Oman prices. Rising supplies for KSL would put a downward pressure on Saudi Arabia’s Arab Super Light (ASL) and this was also regarded as a bearish factor for Middle East’s light grades such as Abu Dhabi Murban.


African/European/Russian/American Crude

In the trade of US grades bound for Asia, Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) purchased 1.0 mil bbl of Mars for September-October arrival. But including the cargo purchased by FPCC, at least four VLCC-size cargoes in total or 8.0 mil bbl of Mars were found to be committed to Asian end-users for October arrival. On top of South Korea’s GS Caltex, South Korean counterpart SK Energy and Japan’s JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy also picked up Mars. Mars was mainly destined to Chinese end-users in the past, but currently lost outlets in China after the country’s government announced its intention to impose a heavy tariff on crude oil imports from US. In the absence of Chinese buying, Mars was offered at relatively low prices in comparison with Middle Eastern grades. “Not a few end-users in Asia studied a possibility to take Mars,” a Hong Kong-based trader said.


Asia Pacific Crude

Japan’s Kansai Electric Power said it has started up two oil-fired thermal power units that had been halted so far due to a heat wave especially in western japan. The power utility started two units with a total capacity of 1.2 gigawatts(GW), or the No.4 unit with 600-MW at its Kainanpower unit and No.2 unit 600-MW at its Gobo power plant. The move was in reaction to surging power demand amid a heat wave. In addition, Kansai Electric Power raised the running rate at its oil-fired 600-MW the No.1 unit at its Gobo power plant. It was not clear whether fuel oil or crude oil would be used through the restarts this time, but the move could raise demand for Indonesian crude grades such as Duri.

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