Följ oss

Analys

Repeated losses of supply in Libya in 2020 seems likely

Publicerat

den

SEB - analysbrev på råvaror
SEB - Prognoser på råvaror - Commodity

Libya’s oil production (1.1 m bl/d in December) is now estimated to have fallen to close to zero as General Haftar has closed ports and pipelines under his control. So far there are no damages to oil installations and production can thus ramp up just as quickly if/when a decision by Hafter is taken to revive it. The big question is how much oil will be lost for how long. The market most clearly expects this to be very short term. That is why the oil price is not moving up more than 0.4% to $65.1/bl at the time of writing.

Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities at SEB
Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB

General Haftar is in control of the eastern part of Libya and is supported by UAE, Egypt, Russia and France who have supported him with both arms and mercenaries. His goal has all along been to overtake all of Libya. He has pushed hard to conquer Tripoli where the internationally recognized government (backed by the U.N., Turkey and Qatar) is seated. He has been besieging the city now for close to a year without success.

General Haftar refused to sign a ceasefire agreement in Moscow one week ago and has now halted the flow of oil out of Libya in response to the ongoing peace negotiations. We don’t think that he will let go of his power grab ambitions in Libya. We don’t think that Russia will stop supplying him arms and funding. In our view it does not look like the ongoing peace negotiations will be successful. The result will then be further increased military and financial support of the two sides in the conflict with periods of lost supply from Libya a highly likely outcome in the year to come.

It is the National Oil Company (NOC) in Libya, seated in Tripoli, which is handling Libya’s crude oil sales. Libya’s NOC is the internationally recognized body to execute such sales. Haftar has earlier tried to circumvent the NOC but without any success.

It is the Central Bank in Tripoli which handles the income from the oil sales and then distribute it impolitically in Libya both to the east and the west.  The halt in Libya’s oil exports is thus halting the financial funding of both General Haftar to in the eastern part of Libya as well as the western part. So, unless Haftar is getting more financial funding from Russia (and Egypt, UAE and France) he will have to revive oil exports again in order to fund himself.

The expert view is that Haftar does not have neither the financial nor the military power to overtake Tripoli (and thus the whole of Libya) and if he did overtake Libya it will likely end in bloodbath and chaos. The only real solution is a diplomatic solution.

The ongoing peace negotiations is an international diplomatic effort to halt the flow of money, arms and soldiers from the international backers of the two sides which is the main driver of the current escalation.

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*

Turkey’s president Erdogan (supporting Tripoli and western Libya) stated last Thursday that he would send troops to Tripoli in order to support the internationally recognized government there until stability has been achieved. General Haftar’s shut-down of Libya’s oil exports this weekend was probably partially a response to this move by Turkey’s Erdogan.

All through 2019 the market experienced a string of serious events in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East with the most serious being the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations (Khurais field and Abqaiq processing facility) in mid-September last year.

The reason why these events did not have more than a fleeting impact on the oil price last year was of course because not much oil was really lost in these events (except Venezuela and Iran). Even the severe attack on Saudi Arabia did not lead to much losses of supply in the market since Saudi could sell oil and products from substantial inventories.

Now we have a real outage. Expected to be short-lived for now. But to us it does not look like diplomacy will be easily achieved. Thus, periods of significant losses of supply in Libya seems likely in the year to come. This will lend support to oil prices which to start with are under pressure from strong non-OPEC production growth, high inventories and lukewarm oil demand growth.

Ch1: Libya’s crude oil production. Lately at 1.1 m bl/d in December. Now probably close to zero

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*
Libya’s crude oil production

Ch2: Iraqi oil production. If the market was to lose this supply for an extended period, then the price impact would be significant

Iraqi oil production
Fortsätt läsa
Annons Centaur
Klicka för att kommentera

Skriv ett svar

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *

Analys

Metals rallied ahead of spot fundamentals, but better times are indeed ahead

Publicerat

den

SEB - analysbrev på råvaror

Industrial metals rallied close to 25% from 1 Dec-2023 to 20 May-2024 as marginal optimism replaced recession fears. But prices have pulled back a bit since then as economic growth optimism has run ahead of spot fundamentals. Industrial metals prices rallied close to 25% from 1 Dec-2023 to 20 May-2024. A solid gain on the back of reviving optimism as global manufacturing PMI’s rose from depressed levels in December to now just above the 50-line. Speculative money rolled into the space to catch a ride on economic revival as well as wanting to hold commodities as a sort of protection against inflation. But the actual state of the global economy isn’t all that strong yet.

Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB
Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB

Rather it is quite weak in absolute terms with the global manufacturing PMI barely just above the 50-line and barely in expansionary territory. Thus, prompt weaknesses can be seen in many places in both metals and energy with rising inventories and weakening curve structures and premiums. The price rally has thus been on a collision course with spot fundamentals. And that eventually helped to bring metals prices back down a bit since 20 May.

That said we do hold the view that there are better times ahead. Consumer prices are cooling, Covid-19 induced inflation is fading and central banks across the world are set to lower policy rates over the coming year. The ECB just cut its policy rate by 0.25% which is the first cut in 5 years. We think other central banks will follow suite as inflation cools around the world. And that is the real start of economic revival. The global economy will then shift from current patchy growth here and there to a more broad-based upturn. And as such the investors who have driven the bull-train so far will likely be right in the end. It is just a bit early.

Brent Crude. Steady as we go: OPEC+ keeps on holding large volumes off market to support prices. The group has flagged that it wants to return volumes to market but is in no hurry to do so. Fading shale oil growth is shifting market power back to OPEC+.

Nat gas TTF. Crisis behind us but still some tightness. The crisis is now clearly behind us, but the market is still on the tight side with some need for demand destruction as the global LNG market has not yet fully managed to compensate lost Russian gas.

EUA carbon. The trough is behind us. Back to EUR 100/ton in 2025. The EUA price crashed to EUR 49.54/ton intraday on 23 Feb depressed by a crash in nat gas prices, low emissions and front-loading of supply. Prepare for EUR 100/ton or more in 2025.

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*

Aluminum 3mth. Too far, too fast. Back to USD 2400/ton before gains in 2025. Aluminum has rallied more than USD 400/ton since February to now USD 2613/ton without support from a comparable gain in coal prices or drawdown in inventories. Helped higher by speculative appetite and increased friction in global trade flows due to new sanctions on Russian metals.

Copper 3mth. Prompt market not that tight. Back above USD 10,000/ton in 2025. The LME 3mth rallied to USD 10,889/ton (LME 3mth) and US Comex copper rallied to USD 11,285/ton. Rally was driven by tightness in the US (IRA++) and speculators frontrunning economic acceleration and global copper deficit. But signs of physical weaknesses many places to be seen in premiums and curves. Flat price now coming back off.  But back up above USD 10,000/ton in 2025 and later as market tightens.

Nickel 3mth. Dragged along with the copper rally but Indonesia still looking to grab more market share. The LME 3mth nickel price rallied to USD 21,615/ton in May, dragged along with the industrial metals rally. But decline has been sharp since then. We are not very bullish on Nickel going forward as Indonesia seems to focus on growing market share rather than profits.

Zinc: Joined the rally. Now back down to USD 2800/ton which could be fair price nearest years. The zinc price spent a long time around USD 2500/ton before rallying to USD 3139/ton. But USD 2800/ton will likely be a fair price for zinc the nearest years.

SEB commodities price outlook
Fortsätt läsa

Analys

ECB rate cut and assurances from OPEC+ lifts Brent back to 80

Publicerat

den

SEB - analysbrev på råvaror

Back up to the 80-line. Brent crude rose to a close of  USD 79.87/b yesterday and recovered another 1.9% of its recent losses. This morning Brent crude is trading just above the 80-line (+0.2%) aligning well with some smaller gains in industrial metals as well as gains in Asian equities. Market focusing on US payrolls later today. Too hot or too cold?

Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB
Bjarne Schieldrop, Chief analyst commodities, SEB

Reassurances from OPEC+ helps to drive Brent back up. Brent dropped to USD 76.76/b (intraday) on Tuesday following the OPEC+ meeting last Sunday. That was the lowest since early February this year. Shocked by the price drop, OPEC+ was propelled to issue statements with assurances that they didn’t really mean what they said or say what they meant and that they in no way is shifting away from ”price over volume” with a shift to an aggressive claw-back of market shares. At least not yet. And yes, the group did state explicitly last Sunday that they would only put the 2 m b/d of voluntary cuts back into the market from Q4-24 to Q3-25 if market circumstances would allow it. And no one really believes that there will be room for the return of that volume to the market in that period. So basically it won’t happen. But the issued statements last Sunday still rings very clear to the market: The current production cuts by OPEC+ are not forever. So to all non-OPEC+ producers: Do prepare, do make room, for the return of these volumes. in the years to come. The frustration among the member states of the cartel must be rising steadily as quarter after quarter is passing by and yet again there is no room to return their cuts back into the market. 

ECB rate cuts gives hopes for economic acceleration and oil demand growth. ECB yesterday reduced its policy rate for the first time since 2016 as inflation is coming under control. The hope is that this is the beginning of further rate cuts across many central banks around the world as inflation is coming under control not just in Europe but also across most of the world. And of course further that this will be the start of a more broad based economic acceleration and thus stronger oil demand growth. That is for sure what OPEC+ is hoping for. That stronger oil demand growth will make room for a return of the group’s cuts.

US crude oil production rises to 13.18 m b/d in March, a mere 77 k b/d MoM gain. The US EIA projected in its May report that US crude oil production will continue to rise to 13.9 m b/d by Dec-2025. A slower, but still steady going growth in supply. The latest gains could however indicate that US crude production may flatten totally rather than rise further as current oil prices have done nothing to stimulate further drilling activity in US oil production since November last year. The official monthly US crude oil production for March came in at 13.18 m b/d. It is a recovery following a hard winter with difficult drilling conditions. But it is still below the Dec production level. Nothing would be sweeter news for OPEC+ than seeing US crude production fully flatten here onward. And it would indeed be the correct choice of action by US shale oil producers given that non-OPEC+ producers now has gotten notice: Cuts are not forever.

US crude oil production rises to 13.18 m b/d in March and a mere gain of 77 k b/d MoM and still below Dec-2025.

US crude oil production rises to 13.18 m b/d in March and a mere gain of 77 k b/d MoM and still below Dec-2025.
Source: SEB graph, Blbrg data feed, US EIA data

US EIA is projecting that US crude production will continue to rise and rise though more gradually

US EIA is projecting that US crude production will continue to rise and rise though more gradually
Source: SEB graph, Blbrg data feed, US EIA data
Fortsätt läsa

Analys

Crude oil comment: Fundamentals are key – more volatility ahead

Publicerat

den

SEB - analysbrev på råvaror

This week, Brent Crude prices have declined by USD 2.5 per barrel (3%) since the market opened on Monday. The key driver behind this movement was the OPEC+ meeting last Sunday. Initially, prices fell sharply, with Brent touching USD 76.76 per barrel on Tuesday (June 4th); however, there has been a slight recovery since, with current trading around USD 78.5/bl.

Ole R. Hvalbye, Analyst Commodities, SEB
Ole R. Hvalbye, Analyst Commodities, SEB

Despite ongoing macroeconomic concerns, price movements have been relatively subdued in the first half of 2024, largely driven by fundamental factors—specifically, concerns around supply and demand, where US DOE data and OPEC+ strategy, remain central to price dynamics.

The US inventory report on Wednesday contributed to bearish market sentiment due to an overall increase in commercial inventories. Following the report, prices dipped approximately USD 1/bl before returning to earlier levels in the week.

According to the US DOE, there was a build in US crude inventories of 1.2 million barrels last week, totaling 455.9 million barrels—around 4% below the five-year average for this period, yet significantly less than the 4.1 million barrels anticipated by the API on Tuesday (see page 11 attached). Gasoline inventories also rose by 2.1 million barrels, slightly less than API’s 4 million barrel expectation, and remain about 1% below the five-year average. Meanwhile, distillate (diesel) inventories saw a substantial increase of 3.2 million barrels, maintaining a position 7% under the five-year average but exceeding the expected 2 million barrels projected by API.

Globally, bearish to sideways price movements during May can be attributed to a healthy build in global crude inventories coupled with stagnant demand. US DOE data exemplifies this with both an increase in commercial crude inventories and rising crude oil imports, which averaged 7.1 million barrels per day last week—a 300k barrel increase from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 6.8 million barrels per day, reflecting a 3.5% increase compared to the same period last year.

Product demand shows signs of weakening. Gasoline products supplied to the US market averaged 9.1 million barrels a day, a 1% decrease from the previous year, while distillate supplied averaged 3.7 million barrels a day, down a significant 3.4% from last year. In contrast, jet fuel supply has increased by 13% compared to the same four-week period last year.

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*

OPEC+ Strategic Shifts

OPEC+ has markedly shifted its strategy from focusing solely on price stability to a dual emphasis on price and volume (more in yesterday’s crude oil comment). Since the COVID-19-induced demand collapse in May 2020, OPEC+ has adeptly managed supply levels to stabilize the market. This dynamic is evolving; OPEC+ no longer adjusts supplies solely based on global demand shifts or non-OPEC+ production changes.

Echoing a strategic move similar to Saudi Arabia’s in 2014, OPEC+ has signaled a nuanced approach. The alliance has planned no production changes for Q3-24 to align supply with expected seasonal demand increases, aiming to maintain market balance. Beyond that, there’s a plan to gradually reintroduce 2 million barrels per day from Q4-24 to Q3-25, with an initial increase of 750,000 barrels per day by January 2025. However, this plan is flexible and subject to adjustment depending on market conditions.

The IEA’s May report forecasts a decrease in OPEC’s call by 0.5 million barrels per day by 2025—a potential loss in market share, which OPEC+ finds unacceptable. The group has openly rejected further cuts, signaling an end to its willingness to lose market share to maintain price stability.

This stance serves as a clear warning to non-OPEC+ producers, particularly US shale operators, that the market shares gained since 2020 are not theirs to keep indefinitely. OPEC+ is determined to reclaim its volumes, potentially influencing future production decisions across the global oil industry. Producers now face the strategic decision to potentially scale back on production increases for 2025.

The confluence of a continuing build in US inventories and OPEC+’s strategic shifts has led to market reactions. In the wake of OPEC+ rhetoric, evaluating the fundamentals is now more important than ever, and increased volatility is expected.

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*

Even though OPEC+ has signaled its intention to reclaim market share, it plans to maintain current production levels for the next three months while continuously evaluating the situation. Today, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi Energy Minister, spoke at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. He highlighted that Sunday’s agreement, like many before it, retains the option to ’pause or reverse’ production changes if deemed necessary. This statement subtly emphasizes that maintaining oil price stability and market balance remains a primary focus for OPEC+. Such rhetoric introduces a new dimension of uncertainty that market participants will need to consider going forward.

If the price continues to fall, OPEC+ remains intent on reclaiming ’their volumes,’ betting on a decrease in non-OPEC supply later this year and into 2025. A potentially weaker oil price, within the USD 70-80/bl range for the remainder of 2024, could help alleviate current inflationary pressures. This in turn may lead to earlier central bank rate cuts and a quicker economic recovery in 2025, thereby reviving global oil demand to the benefit of OPEC+.

Fortsätt läsa

Centaur

Guldcentralen

Fokus

Annons

Gratis uppdateringar om råvarumarknaden

*

Populära