US February crude exports fall with harsh weather

  • Market: Condensate, Crude oil
  • 07/04/21

US crude exports fell by 14pc in February from the previous month as severe winter weather disrupted pipeline flows, shut in production and closed ports during part of the month.

Total domestic crude exports averaged about 2.65mn b/d in February, down from 3.08mn b/d in January, according to trade data released today by the US Census Bureau.

India was the top taker of US crude, averaging about 463,000 b/d in February, staying in the number one spot for a second consecutive month. Loadings to the Netherlands were a close second at 462,000 b/d.

State-controlled Indian refiners in December expanded their import portfolio to include more US grades. IOC is now including West Texas Light (WTL) as an eligible grade in its weekly import tenders and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) issued a unique tender that sought Mars for its Vizag refinery in January and February.

US crude headed to China in February averaged 269,000 b/d, down by about 120,000 b./d from the previous month.

China's intake of US crude was volatile last year but exports to that country rose sharply in May-December 2020, averaging 690,000 b/d during that time, buoyed by an interim trade agreement signed last year with the administration of former president Donald Trump. The deal required China to buy $27bn of US crude and other energy commodities in 2020 and $42bn in 2021. But loadings last year fell short of this target, despite volumes almost tripling from 2019.

US and Chinese diplomats met last month for a two-day meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, the first under the administration of President Joe Biden. The Chinese delegation was hoping to persuade the US to lift punitive tariffs on imports from China, which Beijing has reciprocated. But the US merely promised to review the issue.

Overall US crude exports have proven resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, climbing to a record annual high in 2020 despite the sharp drop in global demand and a string of tropical storms and hurricanes that disrupted shipping in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude exports averaged 3.2mn b/d in 2020, up from 2.98mn b/d in 2019, the previous record high.

The monthly trade data comprises several categories of oil, including crude under 25°API, crude that is 25°API or higher, and condensate derived wholly from natural gas.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
29/05/24

Nuevo gobierno de México enfrentará panorama difícil

Nuevo gobierno de México enfrentará panorama difícil

Mexico City, 29 May (Argus) — El nuevo gobierno de México, que asumirá el cargo en octubre, se enfrentará al peor escenario fiscal para un nuevo presidente en décadas, lo que añadirá presión al sector energético. La candidata presidencial Claudia Sheinbaum tiene una sólida ventaja sobre su contendiente Xóchitl Gálvez a escasos días de las elecciones del 2 de junio, de acuerdo a las últimas encuestas. Pero independientemente de la candidata que gane las elecciones, el gobierno entrante se enfrenta a un espiral deficitario que puede requerir recortes profundos y posponer los proyectos prometidos en la campaña. Carlos Ramírez, antiguo jefe del fondo de pensiones Consar de México y actual director de políticas públicas y asesoría de riesgos políticos de Integralia, dijo que el escenario más probable es el de pragmatismo forzado. En caso de ganar, Sheinbaum tendrá oposición continua, pues las proyecciones indican que la oposición asegurará suficientes escaños en ambas cámaras para evitar que el partido Morena obtenga mayorías calificadas, de acuerdo con Ramirez. El déficit federal alcanzó los Ps452,000 millones ($27 mil millones) en el primer trimestre de 2024, más del triple que en el primer trimestre de 2023, entre el gasto preelectoral y la prisa por completar los proyectos insignia del presidente mexicano Andrés Manuel López Obrador: la refinería de Olmeca en Dos Bocas, el corredor interoceánico de Tehuantepec y el Tren Maya de 1,554km. Si se anualiza, el déficit podría alcanzar 6pc del PIB, un nivel nunca visto desde 1988, dijo el Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos Financieros (IMEF). "Viendo cuánto se gastó en estos proyectos en el primer trimestre, sabemos que esto no fue suficiente [para completarlos]", dijo Víctor Herrera, jefe de estudios económicos del IMEF. Añadió que el déficit será difícil de reducir rápidamente, y llevarlo a un nivel "prudente" de alrededor de 3 puntos del PIB significaría no solo no terminar los proyectos de infraestructura este año, sino también encontrar recortes de Ps1,000 millones en el presupuesto de 2024. Herrera dijo que el IMEF prevé que el déficit 2024 alcance los 5 puntos porcentuales del PIB probablemente, una cifra reflejada la semana pasada por la agencia de calificación Moody's. Sheinbaum "no abandonará Dos Bocas, el Corredor o el Tren Maya", dijo Ramirez, añadiendo que esto solo sumará presión a Sheinbaum para retrasar su propia agenda, principalmente dirigiéndose a los cuellos de botella de energía e infraestructura para la atracción de inversión al país. También ha detallado su plan por $13 mil millones en inversiones para proyectos de energía limpia. Pero al financiar sus proyectos, dijo Moody's, la trayectoria del crédito soberano de México depende de la capacidad de la próxima administración para ejecutar la consolidación fiscal y evitar un mayor deterioro. La cuestión de Pemex Las perspectivas de financiación podrían empeorar si el gobierno continúa ofreciendo apoyo extraordinario a la empresa estatal Pemex sin modificar el modelo de negocio hacia la rentabilidad, una perspectiva compartida por Ramirez, el IMEF y Moody's. "Aunque esperamos que el próximo gobierno continúe apoyando a [Pemex], la estrategia empresarial actual de la compañía estatal de petróleo ha aumentado sus riesgos crediticios", dijo la agencia. Y mientras que Sheinbaum y la candidata de la oposición Gálvez están de acuerdo en la importancia de la transición a las energías renovables, "Sheinbaum probablemente seguirá expandiendo el negocio de refinerías, lo que traerá mayores pérdidas." Moody's dijo que el próximo gobierno también tendrá menos capital político que la administración actual, "permitiendo que la gobernanza y los riesgos sociales se vuelvan más destacados", añadió Moody's, aunque Sheinbaum tenga el apoyo continuo de López Obrador. "Esperamos que mantenga en gran medida el modelo de negocio existente para Pemex, haciendo hincapié en la soberanía energética, aunque ha declarado la necesidad de una estrategia de transición energética", afirmó Moody's. Dicho esto, "México se está quedando atrás en sus planes de transición hacia las energías limpias después de años de baja inversión", añadió Moody's. Sin embargo, Sheinbaum busca continuar apoyando a la empresa eléctrica estatal CFE como la fuerza dominante en el sector de la energía eléctrica. México va en camino para no alcanzar sus objetivos de energía limpia, y los cortes de energía se han vuelto más frecuentes, lo cual es atractivo para los inversores. Por James Young Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

Rising Guyana-USG crude flows benefit Suezmaxes


29/05/24
News
29/05/24

Rising Guyana-USG crude flows benefit Suezmaxes

Houston, 29 May (Argus) — Surging Guyanese crude exports to the US Gulf coast may benefit Suezmax crude tankers as a potential new export market develops for the South American country's booming production. Citgo's 167,500 b/d Corpus Christi refinery in Texas has taken three 1mn bl cargoes of medium sweet Payara Gold in May, with a fourth Suezmax, the Nordic Hawk , transiting the Corpus Christi ship channel on 29 May, according to ship tracking data from Kpler. If the Nordic Hawk and the Aframax onto which it lightered discharge by the end of the month, the refinery's imports of Payara Gold would top 100,000 b/d in May, up from 60,000 b/d in April and 32,000 b/d in March, according to Kpler. US Gulf coast refiners last year imported just two Suezmax-size cargoes of Guyanese crude, or about 5,500 b/d. The primary destinations for the country's roughly 370,000 b/d of oil exports last year, about 85pc of which were hauled on Suezmaxes, were Europe, which took about 60pc, and the US west coast, which took about 25pc via re-export on the Trans-Panama pipeline, according to Vortexa data. A new market to the US Gulf coast would add to already-rising Suezmax demand in Guyana, where tonne-miles this year through 20 May increased by 45pc from the same period last year and by almost fivefold from the same period in 2022, Vortexa data show. Charterers moving Guyanese crude often opt for the economies of scale offered by 1mn bl Suezmaxes compared with smaller 700,000 bl Aframaxes. The start of production at the 220,000 b/d Prosperity floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO) in November 2023 helped boost Guyana's oil production to 625,000 b/d in April , according to government data. Output in April exceeded the country's rated capacity by 65,000 b/d following improvements at the older Liza 1 and Liza 2 projects in the deepwater Stabroek block. Mexican substitute? Increased US Gulf coast imports of Guyanese crude come as crude imports from Mexico fall, exerting downward pressure on rates for Aframaxes since March. US Gulf coast imports of Mexico's medium sour Isthmus have led the declines, falling to about 135,000 b/d from 1 March through 27 May compared with about 220,000 b/d over the preceding three-month period, according to Vortexa data. "Given the expectation of depressed Mexican crude exports going forward, the push and pull for Guyanese barrels between the US and Europe is likely to be stronger than ever," Kpler analyst Matt Smith wrote in a research note. By Tray Swanson Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Venezuela veers further from election vows


29/05/24
News
29/05/24

Venezuela veers further from election vows

Caracas, 29 May (Argus) — Venezuela's government will no longer allow EU observers to witness the presidential election set for 28 July, a step that could provide a pretext for Washington to further tighten its sanctions against the country. The government had previously informally invited the observers, but rescinded the invitation hours after the Unity Platform opposition coalition urged President Nicolas Maduro to send a formal request. Venezuela's government has continued to block the opposition's top candidate , Maria Corina Machado, from running. Venezuela will block the observers because of the EU's "colonialist practices" of economic sanctions, CNE head Elvis Amoroso said. The sanctions have cost Venezuela more than $125bn in frozen assets and lost revenue, he added. Europe along with countries including the US, Canada, Panama and Switzerland have sanctioned Venezuela since 2018, after accusing Maduro of rigging that year's presidential election. US president Joe Biden's administration last month reimposed most oil sanctions against Venezuela, citing the Maduro government's refusal to allow Machado to run for president. The US administration said it would impose additional restrictions if it determines that the 28 July election that it was not free — a determination that takes into account whether credible international observers are allowed to monitor the voting process. Both the opposition coalition and the EU called for Venezuela to reconsider. The EU reminded Venezuela that allowing observers was part of the deal struck between Maduro's representatives in Barbados in October and the opposition coalition. The agreement aimed to ensure a path to free and fair elections, after which the US lifted oil sanctions for six months. Maduro's latest move follows a pattern of intimidation and opacity designed to ensure his continuity, critics said. The blocking of observers "is regrettable but not surprising," said R. Evan Ellis, a research professor of Latin American studies at the US Army War College. Venezuela had allowed an EU mission to observe 2021 state and municipal elections, which it condemned as unfair and undemocratic. Maduro and allies claimed a landslide win at both state and city levels. Polls in Caracas have Maduro losing in July by widening margins. Maduro was in second place with about 20pc of voter support for several weeks, but pollster Meganalisis said he would only get around 9pc of the vote if it were held this week. Machado's place-holder candidate Edmundo Gonzalez would win with 60pc of the vote, according to the poll. By Carlos Camacho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Houthi missiles hit bulk carrier in Red Sea: Update


29/05/24
News
29/05/24

Houthi missiles hit bulk carrier in Red Sea: Update

Singapore, 29 May (Argus) — Yemen-based Houthi militants launched five anti-ship ballistic missiles in the Red Sea on 28 May, with three striking the Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Laax , US Central Command (Centcom) said today. But the Marshall Islands-flagged Laax is continuing its voyage with no injuries reported. The vessel had unloaded about 60,000t of soybean meal at the Turkish port of Ceyhan on 21 May and is now ballasting to Imam Khomeini port in Iran, according to data from global trade and analytics platform Kpler. Centcom forces have destroyed more than 10 uncrewed aerial systems over the Red Sea in the past week, after determining that they presented "an imminent threat to merchant vessels in the region". The systems were launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen. The Houthis have launched five other anti-ship ballistic missiles since 18 May when a Houthi missile hit an oil tanker . Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said today that the group had carried out six military operations, three of which were in the Red Sea. Saree referenced the Laax as one of the vessels targeted with ballistic missiles and drones, and said it had been "hit directly and greatly damaged." He also named the Morea , a Malta-flagged bulk carrier, and the Sea Lady , a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier, as two other ships that were targeted in the Red Sea, although no mention was made of a direct hit. He separately said the Houthis had targeted two "American" vessels ꟷ the Alba and Maersk Hartford ꟷ in the Arabian Sea, again with "missiles and drones", and also the Minerva Antonia in the Mediterranean Sea with "winged missiles." Again, there was no mention as to whether they were hit. Oil prices are rising as the conflict in the Middle East widens. An Egyptian soldier was killed in a clash with Israeli forces at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt earlier this week. The Egyptian Armed Forces are investigating the incident, spokesperson Ghareeb Abdel Hafez said on 27 May. "A dialogue is taking place with the Egyptian side," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. By Tng Yong Li, Reena Nathan and Nader Itayim Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

ConocoPhillips to buy Marathon Oil for $17.1bn


29/05/24
News
29/05/24

ConocoPhillips to buy Marathon Oil for $17.1bn

Houston, 29 May (Argus) — ConocoPhillips will buy fellow US oil and gas producer Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal worth $17.1bn. The deal, which will also include ConocoPhillips taking on $5.4bn in existing Marathon debt, adds more than 2bn bls of reserves with cost of supply of less than $30/bl, the company said. "This acquisition of Marathon Oil further deepens our portfolio and fits within our financial framework, adding high-quality, low cost of supply inventory adjacent to our leading US unconventional position," said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer. ConocoPhillips said today it also plans to increase its dividend by 34pc to 78¢/share starting in the fourth quarter. After the Marathon deal closes ConocoPhillips will repurchase over $7bn in shares in the next year, up from the current $5bn rate, with a goal of repurchasing over $20bn in shares in the first three years. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, ConocoPhillips said. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Generic Hero Banner

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more