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Chargeable cars take 10pc share of EU new sales in 3Q

  • Market: LPG, Metals, Oil products
  • 05/11/20

Almost one in 10 new cars sold in the EU in the third quarter was chargeable, substantially reducing the market share of cars fuelled by internal combustion.

Registrations of electrically-chargeable vehicles more than tripled from a year earlier, courtesy mainly of government incentives, to almost 275,000 and giving a market share of 9.9pc. With hybrid electric vehicles doubling market share to around 12pc from a year earlier, demand for new cars fuelled only by gasoline or diesel took a hit.

The market share taken by conventional internal combustion fell to around 75pc in the quarter from nearly 89pc a year earlier. Diesel new car sales fell by around 14pc to around 766,000, while gasoline new car sales fell by 24pc to 1.3mn. This pushed the market share of the latter to below 50pc for the first time in four years. Diesel new car sales had a share of around 28pc.

This data, from the European Automotive Manufacturers Association (ACEA), adds to the bleak outlook facing European refiners, which are already struggling with weaker demand because of Covid-19 restrictions in place in many of the region's high-demand countries. Margins on road fuels are low, while many refiners are operating at a loss.

The ACEA said that demand slowed for cars running on alternative fuels, including LPG and gas, although the sector's market share remained steady at 2.3pc.


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17/07/24

BHP posts higher nickel output after disruptions

BHP posts higher nickel output after disruptions

Singapore, 17 July (Argus) — Australian resources group BHP lifted its nickel production during April-June as it recovered from planned maintenance and wet weather disruptions in the previous quarter. BHP's refined nickel production for April-June rose by 22pc against the previous quarter and by 4.5pc from a year earlier to 23,000t. The increased output was a result of a low base in the previous quarter with planned maintenance at the Kwinana refinery in Western Australia (WA) and poor weather conditions in March, the firm said. Total refined nickel output for the 2023-24 fiscal ending 30 June was 81,600t, up by 2pc from the same period last year. BHP on 11 July announced that it will temporarily suspend operations at its WA nickel businesses from October, on the back of nickel oversupply and an anticipated nickel price downtrend. BHP has also decided to halt operations at its Kambalda concentrator earlier in February, placing it into a care and maintenance phase from June. Mining and processing operations at the Kwinana refinery, Kalgoorlie smelter and Mount Keith and Leinster mines will be suspended, while development of the West Musgrave project will be put on hold. BHP will implement a care and maintenance programme to ensure the safety and integrity of its mines and infrastructure. It will invest around $300mn/yr following the transition period to support a potential restart of the facility. The transition period will start from July, with operations to be halted in October and completely stopped by December. BHP intends to review the closure by February 2027. BHP expects to record negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around $300mn for 2023-24 and sustain a further $300mn pre-tax non-cash impairment charge following the temporary suspension decision. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Aumentan importaciones de combustible en México


16/07/24
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16/07/24

Aumentan importaciones de combustible en México

Mexico City, 16 July (Argus) — Las importaciones de combustible en México aumentaron en julio de cara a la temporada de viajes de verano e impulsadas por una disminución de la producción nacional en las refinerías de la estatal Pemex. Las importaciones marítimas a México de gasolina, diésel y turbosina, incluidas las importaciones de Pemex y privados, aumentaron un 18pc a aproximadamente 780,000 b/d del 1 al 10 de julio, frente a 663,000 b/d en el mismo periodo de 2023, según datos de Vortexa. Esto se debió principalmente a un aumento del 66pc en los cargamentos de diésel hasta alcanzar 268,000 b/d, ya que la disponibilidad de este combustible en el mercado ilegal probablemente disminuyó, según fuentes del mercado. Los cargamentos de turbosina se cuadriplicaron hasta los 43,000 b/d en el mismo periodo, ya que Pemex reabastece sus inventarios antes de la temporada de viajes aéreos de verano. Las importaciones de combustible a México habían disminuido a principios de este año, después de que la campaña del gobierno para aumentar la producción de refinerías y reducir su dependencia de las importaciones de EE. UU. comenzara a dar sus frutos, aumentando la producción de gasolina y diésel de Pemex en un 32pc y reduciendo sus importaciones hasta un 25pc en marzo. Pero en abril y mayo, el sistema de refinación de Pemex enfrentó varios problemas, desde un incendio en la refinería de Minatitlán hasta un corte de energía importante en la refinería de Tula, lo que llevó los niveles de procesamiento de crudo de Pemex a un mínimo de cinco meses en mayo. Las tasas de operación de las refinerías en junio se publicarán el 26 de julio. Es probable que el procesamiento de crudo haya caído durante el mes pasado debido a operaciones de mantenimiento en dos refinerías, dijo una fuente familiarizada con las operaciones de refinación de Pemex. El mercado tiene sus dudas sobre la posibilidad una fuerte caída en las importaciones de combustible a México, y algunos refinadores de la costa del Golfo de EE. UU. esperan una fuerte y creciente demanda. Además, incluso si la refinería Olmeca de 340,000 b/d iniciara operaciones comerciales este año, es probable que las otras seis refinerías reduzcan sus tasas de utilización, según fuentes del mercado. Recientemente, Pemex comenzó a vender diésel desde la terminal de distribución de la refinería de Olmeca, pero la cantidad es limitada y el combustible se produjo utilizando materia prima destilada en otra planta. La tendencia a la baja en las operaciones de refinado de México podría continuar en julio a pesar de los esfuerzos del gobierno saliente para aumentar la producción nacional. México ha exportado alrededor de 1 millón de b/d de crudo hasta la fecha en julio, un aumento del 20pc frente a los 847,500 b/d en todo junio, según los datos de Vortexa. Esto indica que es probable que las refinerías de Pemex estén operando a tasas más bajas. Las importaciones de combustible de México podrían continuar su tendencia al alza en los próximos meses, pues los gasolineros esperan una mayor demanda de gasolina durante las vacaciones de verano. Los inventarios de gasolina y diésel de Pemex descendieron un 24pc en junio a 6.2 millones de bl, frente a 8.1 millones de bl en junio de 2023, según una respuesta de transparencia de Pemex a una solicitud de Argus . La empresa deberá aumentar sus importaciones si las refinerías no siguen el ritmo de la demanda. Además, las importaciones suelen aumentar en la segunda mitad del año, impulsadas por la demanda de diciembre y la mezcla de gasolina de invierno de menor precio. México importó más gasolina en el segundo semestre del año en 11 de los últimos 12 años y más diésel en ocho de esos mismos años. Juego de unos pocos El mercado de importación de combustible de México se ha limitado a Pemex y a algunas empresas del sector privado durante los últimos tres años del mandato del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador, y no hay señales de cambio después de las elecciones presidenciales de junio. Se espera que la presidenta electa Claudia Sheinbaum, que tomará el cargo el 1 de octubre, continúe con las políticas nacionalistas de energía de López Obrador, y tendrá aún menos contrapeso que su predecesor tras la contundente victoria de su partido Morena en las elecciones legislativas. Las importaciones de combustible a México se abrieron a empresas del sector privado después de la reforma energética de 2014, pero la secretaría de energía canceló decenas de permisos de importación de combustible en los últimos años. Por Antonio Gozain Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Q&A: Petredec pushes LPG to drive Africa clean cooking


16/07/24
News
16/07/24

Q&A: Petredec pushes LPG to drive Africa clean cooking

London, 16 July (Argus) — LPG trading company and shipowner Petredec was recently unveiled as one of the founding members of the World Liquid Gas Association's (WLGA) Cooking For Life Africa Task Force (CFLA), following the in May. The company was one of the early international entrants to the sub-Saharan African LPG market and continues to pursue opportunities in the region. Argus' Oliver Binks spoke with Petredec's head of downstream, James Bullen, about the company's plans to help expand LPG's use across Africa: Why did Petredec join the CFLA? The task force is a direct response to the IEA's call to action following its summit in Paris in May. The IEA's ambition is to end cooking fuel poverty by making cleaner fuels accessible to all, thereby saving lives. The WLGA created the task force to focus on LPG's role in addressing this challenge. Although the problem itself is acknowledged to be surmountable, and not even particularly costly — in relative terms — the WLGA believes that LPG can largely solve the issue of clean cooking in Africa now. This is a belief that we not only share, but also through our work on the ground in Africa, fully understand first-hand. LPG is well-suited to developing markets, such as those being highlighted as particularly problematic within Africa by the IEA. We believe that LPG's inherent benefits of being accessible, easy to deploy, well-understood and affordable make it the unparalleled choice for meeting the IEA's objectives. What projects are the company involved in within the region? Our strategy onshore has been to invest in markets where LPG is established and understood but market growth is in some way hindered. This is typically owing to a lack of investment in infrastructure, especially import infrastructure. We base our investment decisions on long-term opportunities for LPG and how we can alleviate these bottlenecks to facilitate growth. Affordability is a significant barrier to fuel switching, so being able to import the cheapest possible product is a fundamental pillar of any investment plan we develop. And central to this is the necessity to select locations where the largest LPG carriers, VLGCs, can be accommodated to discharge cargoes. Big ships mean better freight economics, which means cheaper import prices and more affordable LPG for the consumer. We have not announced the specific details of our new investments and are not in a position to do so yet, but the type of projects will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with our record. We have invested more than $200m in the past decade on medium to large-scale LPG infrastructure and it's fair to assume we will do more of the same. What are the challenges to developing infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa? While working in each developing market has its own specific challenges, there are often common issues to navigate when large-scale infrastructure projects are under development. These include planning and permitting , environmental adherence and acceptance and navigating local bureaucracy, which can be multi-layered and onerous. Delays are common and projects such as designing and constructing import terminals, distribution systems and break-bulk hubs are complicated and time-consuming. The key to overcoming these is consistency, perseverance, patience and commitment. Projects run late, budgets require amendments and remits change, but good opportunities are often difficult by nature. Keeping the end goal in sight and taking a long-term view are key. What specific infrastructure in the supply chain needs the most investment? Different regions and markets have different needs. Some countries have focused on one specific type of infrastructure investment while ignoring other key elements. Other countries are in need of modernisation across their entire supply chains. A problem we frequently come across is outdated and insufficient infrastructure stifling market growth. While market participants' intentions to support the growth of LPG might be there, their efforts can be in vain if they are working with 50-year-old-plus import terminals with inadequate capacity to meet market demands, or an antiquated cylinder filling and distribution system. How much LPG does Petredec supply to sub-Saharan Africa, and where does it source it from? Petredec has supplied LPG to Africa since the 1980s, first in north Africa and then elsewhere around the coast of the continent. Annual quantities vary with supply contracts, but for many years now we have supplied significant volumes to South Africa, which we then distribute via road tankers across the southern part of the continent. From our import hub in Richards Bay, South Africa, our local subsidiary, Petregaz, transports LPG to nine countries across the region, often more than 2,000km in each direction. We have always used our global trading, supply and shipping system to ensure that the most appropriate product is supplied to each market. This means as arbitrage opportunities open and close, product can originate from a number of locations, but for South Africa, we typically utilise our large offtake positions in the US Gulf to supply the market. What other clean cooking options do Africans have apart from LPG, and why not pursue these over LPG? We aren't aware of any alternatives as compelling as LPG when considered holistically as a "through the transition" energy option for developing markets. The IEA itself, in the report A Vision for Clean Cooking Access for All, identifies LPG as the primary solution to deliver clean cooking access, representing nearly half of the households gaining access by 2030. That is not to say that LPG is the answer to every problem in every market. During the summit, we encountered new cooking stoves powered by solar energy and recycled pellets, both intriguing but reliant on electric power as a back-up fuel or for flame acceleration. Where we are talking about markets with limited access to electricity, neither of these are practical. The summit also highlighted a number of biofuels, some of which appear interesting, but developments are very early and at this point unproven. We do not believe that LPG's ready availability, low-cost set-up and easy scale-up can be bettered by any current alternative. Which countries are the company focusing on for LPG market expansion across the region? We are focused on expanding operations in our existing markets and new territories. We already deliver LPG to nine sub-Saharan African countries by road so fully understand the importance of multi-modal logistics. But we are keen to improve supply chain operations and are examining opportunities to utilise alternative forms of transport and enhance existing logistics in order to improve productivity and, most importantly, lower costs. Reduced logistic costs means cheaper deliveries resulting in improved affordability, which is crucial as we and our partners strive for market growth. What are the company's objectives in terms of inland African LPG distribution this year? The current project focus, particularly in South Africa, is on further optimisation of the supply chain to better serve our customers. Having acquired one of South Africa's largest dedicated LPG road logistics operators in 2023, we have now fully integrated that business into our operations and have set about further expanding the freight aspect of our offering. We expect to announce further developments in due course that will improve that level in terms of speed, cost and reliability. Targeting new usage opportunities for LPG is also a key current focus, as we look to leverage the strong foundations we have laid since commissioning the Richards Bay terminal in 2020. Acute shortages of alternative energy options and an ongoing electricity crisis in South Africa have thrust LPG into the limelight as a viable substitute for power generation. We are engaged with several industrial and commercial businesses looking for energy security that are, for the first time, considering using LPG. The company divested its Reunion business in 2023. Why and what lessons were learnt? The business ran profitably throughout our 14 years of ownership, and together with our local partner, we had gradually managed to grow our market share and overall volumes. However, with our investment focus in the region shifting from the southern Indian Ocean to continental Africa, Petregaz Reunion had become somewhat isolated in our longer-term strategic growth plan. With their own growth strategy focusing on market consolidation and integrating operations, the business was a natural fit for Vivo Energy and a transaction suited all parties. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Tanker owner denies Houthi attack in Med


16/07/24
News
16/07/24

Tanker owner denies Houthi attack in Med

London, 16 July (Argus) — The owner of a tanker reported attacked today in the Mediterranean Sea has said there was no such incident. Petronav Ship Management said its tanker, Olvia , was not targeted as claimed by Yemen's Houthi militants. An attack in the Mediterranean would be a big step outside the Houthi's region of operations, which is limited to the area in and around the Bab el-Mandeb strait at the southern end of the Red Sea. The Houthis claimed two other attacks today in the Red Sea, on crude tanker Chios Lion and oil product tanker Bentley I . By Ben Winkley and Bob Wigin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Rio Tinto to boost 2H Australian iron ore shipments


16/07/24
News
16/07/24

Rio Tinto to boost 2H Australian iron ore shipments

Sydney, 16 July (Argus) — UK-Australian mining firm Rio Tinto must ship at least 165mn t of iron ore from Western Australia (WA) during July-December, after a derailment disrupted exports in April-June, cutting first half sales to 158mn t. The firm maintained its WA iron ore shipments guidance of 323mn-338mn t for 2024 on a 100pc basis, despite losing six days of port deliveries because of a derailment in May. It shipped 80.3mn t of iron ore from WA on a 100pc basis during April-June, up from 78mn t for January-March , when cyclone-season weather disrupted exports. It was also up by 2pc from April-June 2023, as productivity gains offset ore depletion. The target of 165mn-180mn t for July-December is achievable for Rio Tinto, which often boosts shipments in the second half of a calendar and its financial year. It shipped 170.7mn t during July-December 2023 and 161.7mn t for January-June 2023, for a total of 332mn t in 2023. Low-grade SP10 iron ore made up 17pc of its WA sales during January-June, up from 14pc through 2023, 11pc in 2022 and zero in 2015. The firm warned that SP10 levels are expected to remain elevated until new mining projects are delivered, which is subject to approvals and heritage clearance. The proportion of the high-grade Pilbara Blend fell to 58pc for January-June from 61pc through 2023, 64pc in 2022 and 73pc in 2015. Rio Tinto is developing higher grade deposits, such as its 40mn t/yr Rhodes Ridge project, to try to reverse the grade decline in WA. The firm maintained its 2024 cash cost guidance for WA iron ore at $21.75-23.50, while warning this would be the top end of this for January-June because of the lower volumes sold. It achieved an average price of $97.30/wet metric tonne (wmt) fob WA in January-July, down from $98.60/wmt in the same period last year. The equivalent price for January-June 2024 at an 8pc moisture assumption is $105.80/dry metric tonne (dmt) fob WA. The Argus ICX price for 62pc Fe fines averaged $117.33/dmt cfr Qingdao in January-June, down from $118/dmt in the same period last year. The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) — in which Rio Tinto owns 59pc — sold 8.65mn t in January-June, up 7pc on the same period last year. It is expected to raise production during July-December with better seasonal conditions to produce as much as 19.5mn t in 2024. By Jo Clarke Rio Tinto iron ore shipments (mn t) Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 Jan-Jun '24 Jan-Jun '23 Pilbara Blend Lump 15.83 15.63 17.76 31.47 36.49 Pilbara Blend Fines 31.34 28.48 33.67 59.81 69.02 Robe Valley Lump 2.52 2.31 2.17 4.83 4.16 Robe Valley Fines 5.84 5.55 4.70 11.39 8.96 Yandicoogina Fines (HIY) 11.36 12.23 12.56 23.59 26.25 SP10 Lump 5.14 4.61 1.65 9.75 3.34 SP10 Fines 8.28 9.22 6.61 17.50 13.45 Total WA iron ore shipments 80.31 78.03 79.12 158.34 161.66 IOC iron ore shipments 4.13 4.52 4.43 8.65 8.05 Source: Rio Tinto Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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