Privados pierden terreno en el mercado mexicano de GLP

  • Market: LPG
  • 01/04/24

Las empresas del sector privado perdieron terreno en el mercado mexicano de Gas LP en 2023, luego del aumento de la producción de Pemex, algunos signos de reducción en el robo y políticas nacionalistas que favorecen a la empresa estatal.

Pemex cerró 2023 con una participación de mercado de 62.1pc en ventas de GLP en México, según los resultados financieros de la empresa publicados el 27 de febrero, frente a 61.2pc en 2022 y una cuota de 49.7pc registrada en 2020, que fue la más baja de su historia. Las empresas del sector privado han gestionado la distribución minorista de GLP en México por mucho tiempo, pero comenzaron a importar GLP después de la reforma energética de 2014.

Este aumento también se vio respaldado por la firme demanda de GLP en México. Las importaciones totales de GLP de México más la producción nacional, un aproximado de la demanda, se situaron en 292,400 b/d el año pasado, 4pc más que en 2022.

Más de 75pc de los hogares de México utilizan GLP para necesidades de cocina y calefacción, según datos del instituto nacional de estadística y geografía (Inegi).

Las importaciones de GLP de Pemex se redujeron en 1pc a 76,100 b/d en 2023, mientras que las importaciones de las empresas del sector privado también se redujeron en 1pc a 114,000 b/d, según la secretaría de energía (Sener).

Pero estas caídas se absorbieron con el aumento de la producción doméstica de Pemex. La producción de GLP de la empresa aumentó en 11pc a 102,300 b/d en 2023, como resultado de una mayor inversión en el mantenimiento de sus instalaciones de procesamiento de gas, de acuerdo con fuentes del mercado.

La tendencia al alza en la producción de GLP ha continuado este año. Pemex produjo 104,000 b/d de GLP en febrero, un aumento de 9pc frente a los 95,000 b/d de febrero de 2023, según los datos de la empresa publicados la semana pasada.

La administración del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador ha seguido una política nacionalista que apoya a Pemex a través de regulaciones restrictivas.

Aunque la reforma de 2014 sigue en vigor por ley, en la práctica la Sener y reguladores autónomos como la CRE se han alineado con las políticas energéticas nacionalistas de López Obrador, cancelando o no otorgando permisos a las empresas del sector privado en todos los niveles de la cadena de valor del combustible.

Sin embargo, las empresas del sector privado cuentan con más de 4,700 permisos para la distribución de GLP en el país, según la CRE.

Otro reto para las empresas del sector privado y Pemex ha sido el robo de GLP, que se realiza predominantemente perforando los gasoductos de la empresa estatal.

El problema se ha agravado a medida que las bandas criminales han pasado de la gasolina y el diésel al GLP debido a una estrategia gubernamental dirigida a salvaguardar los oleoductos de los gasolina y diésel. Sin embargo, Pemex informó que perdió 179,000 toneladas de GLP por robo en 2023, una reducción de 8pc de 194,500 toneladas en 2022, tras una solicitud de transparencia de datos de Argus.

Las tomas ilegales en sus ductos de GLP se redujeron en 2pc a 2,470, de acuerdo a los mismos datos.

Pero esto es inconsistente con datos anteriores de Pemex, que mostraban que la empresa había perdido 175,000 toneladas solo en enero-agosto de 2023, a menos que el robo se hubiera detenido en el último trimestre. Pemex no ha respondido a una solicitud de Argus para comentar sobre los datos.

Los precios minoristas del GLP en México aumentaron en febrero debido al aumento de precios del propano en EE.UU., aunque el gobierno sigue protegiendo a los clientes mediante precios máximos.

Pero los precios del 24 al 30 de marzo cayeron por cuarta semana consecutiva. El precio máximo promedio en 2,490 ciudades fue de Ps10,06/l ($1,89/USG) para esa semana, una disminución de 3pc con respecto a la semana anterior.

México introdujo controles de precios del GLP en 2021. Un tribunal dictó en agosto de 2023 que los límites de precios son constitucionales para las entregas en camiones a consumidores residenciales, pero no para las ventas desde otros sitios minoristas. Más de 60pc de la demanda de GLP de México proviene del sector residencial, según los datos de Argus.

Producción de GLP de Pemex

Importaciones de GLP en México

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16/04/24

Romania's growing autogas market boosts 2023 imports

Romania's growing autogas market boosts 2023 imports

Demand for autogas is expected to continue rising in the country as it maintains a discount to competing motor fuels Moscow, 16 April (Argus) — Romania's autogas consumption increased last year as more drivers were attracted by its lower price compared with gasoline and diesel, helping to lift imports to the country by over a quarter on the year. Autogas sales in the country rose by 10,000-30,000t on the year to 270,000-300,000t as a result of its lower price against other motor fuels. "The ratio of autogas to gasoline prices fell below 50pc last year from 60-65pc owing to rising global gasoline and diesel prices," a Romanian trader says. Romanian autogas prices stood at 3.27-3.35 lei/litre (71-73¢/l) last week, while gasoline prices were Lei7.12-7.15/l ($1.50/l), putting the former at 47pc of the latter . This compares with autogas' cost of Lei3.91-3.98/l in April 2023, and gasoline at Lei6.63-6.69/l, with a ratio of 59-60pc. The country's autogas demand could have been even stronger last year had it not been for a fire at the Flagas refuelling station in Crevedia, near Bucharest, in August. Immediately after the accident, a special commission consisting of firefighters, police, an environmental body and tax authorities was formed to carry out inspections at the country's autogas stations, resulting in many being closed. "The commission would close a fuelling station for a slightest non-compliance, so some retail operators shut down their fuelling stations before it arrived," a market participant says. Romania has more than 1,000 autogas refuelling sites. But around 300 stations are reported to have closed since September 2023 following the incident. This resulted in sales dropping in September-December last year compared with the same period in 2022, according to local market participants. The growth in autogas sales over the whole of last year boosted Romania's LPG imports to around 353,000t compared with 278,000t in 2022, Vortexa data show. All of the country's LPG deliveries were to its sea ports of Midia, Mangalia and Galati, as rail shipments from Russia transiting Ukraine, which had been 2,000-3,000 t/month, halted after the war in Ukraine began in late February 2022. Imports were also supported by cuts to domestic output and an increase in overland exports. Exports rose by about 5,000–10,000t to 330,000–340,000t in 2023, according to market participants, with most of this supported by rising shipments to Ukraine, growing by 45,600t to 235,600t. Romania's LPG imports from Egypt doubled to 104,200t, Vortexa data show, with most of this supplied by trading firms Naftomar and Evicor. Arrivals from Turkey grew by 51,300t to 69,600t, mostly delivered by Turkish distributors Aygaz and Milangaz. More Kazakh LPG arrived from Georgia's Batumi port, rising by 14,800t to 27,600t, to partially offset the loss of supply from Russia's Taman terminal after exports halted in May 2023. LPG arrivals from Algeria and the US also increased last year (see table). Gassing up Romania's autogas demand should be on course to continue expanding this year, with autogas prices at around an 80¢/l discount to gasoline at the beginning of April. The government raised autogas excise duty again from 1 January, to around Lei874/t ($191/t). But it also increased the duty on gasoline to Lei2.02/l and on diesel to Lei1.85/l, and will do so again from 1 July to Lei2.38/l and Lei2.18/l, respectively, while the rate on autogas is expected to remain unchanged. Autogas sales in the country are expected to increase to 280,000-320,000t this year from 270,000-300,000t in 2023 because of lower excise tax on LPG compared with gasoline and diesel, according to traders. Exports should stabilise while domestic output will increase as technical issues at the Rompetrol refinery are resolved, they say. Seaborne LPG imports to Romania '000t 2023 ±% 2022 Egypt 104.2 99.5 Turkey 69.5 35.7 Russia/Kazakhstan 54.5 -163.0 Georgia 27.6 86.8 US 27.1 49.0 Algeria 26.9 50.2 Tunisia 12.0 11.1 Greece 6.3 -235.4 Croatia 5.7 -456.2 Italy 3.7 183.2 Netherlands 3.4 247.4 Libya 1.1 -283.3 Other 11.6 11.6 Total 353.5 30.8 — Vortexa Romania LPG demand by sector 2022 Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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LPG World editorial: That time of year?


16/04/24
News
16/04/24

LPG World editorial: That time of year?

Increased US LPG supply is changing global markets, having a dampening effect on traditional seasonal price fluctuations, writes Peter Wilton London, 16 April (Argus) — As the northern hemisphere winter disappears into the rear-view mirror, the lack of seasonality in LPG prices in the key trading hubs of northwest Europe and northeast Asia has been striking. In Europe, large cargo prices for propane delivered into Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) held steady through winter at around 50pc of prices for regional benchmark Brent crude. In Asia, Argus Far East Index (AFEI) propane assessments, the benchmark for large cargoes sold to Japan, South Korea and China, lost some ground against crude, slipping to below 60pc of Dubai crude futures this month from around 70pc in late December. This appears to be another sign of how ample US supply, courtesy of the country's shale revolution, has changed global markets. Now, the US can not only provide volumes when net-short regions require them — it can seemingly leave the export taps open regardless of needs elsewhere, severely dampening seasonality in seaborne cargo markets in the process. Is the influence of robust US export volumes now so great that seasonal fluctuations in the crucial residential and commercial sectors — estimated to account for 45pc of global LPG demand this year — have little effect on spot prices? A cursory glance at the 2022-23 northern hemisphere winter would suggest not, and that the 2023-24 winter was perhaps an aberration, given how prices spiked in January 2023. In the second half of that month, cif ARA propane gained 12 percentage points against Brent crude, while AFEI surged by 15 percentage points against Dubai crude — a classic winter bull run. But this was not driven by heating demand. The trigger was a perfect storm of supporting factors in the key Chinese market, including a concertina effect on demand — following disruption caused by December 2022's post-Covid reopening of its economy and the late January 2023 lunar new year holiday — that effectively squeezed many weeks of buying for its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plants into that early January period. Stripping out that spike, 2022-23 winter pricing patterns look much less seasonal. Following the surge in prices, average monthly cif ARA assessments were rangebound for a full year at 45-55pc of Brent, with AFEI in a similarly tight 53-67pc range. Much greater price variance used to be the norm in winter, when seaborne propane prices would react inversely to falling temperatures. Seasonal disruption Growing US supplies supported by strong domestic natural gas prices look likely to remain the dominant influence. But several smaller demand-side factors could also further inhibit seasonality. Firstly, heating demand's vulnerability to decarbonisation from alternative renewable liquid gases. The idea of renewable feedstocks reaching steam crackers or PDH units in any great volume is, for now, largely an aspirational environmental goal — usage of and investment in bioLPG production by petrochemical companies is modest at best. The firms that are either significant buyers of bioLPG or launching renewable liquid gas projects are LPG distributors such as SHV Energy and UGI International. Secondly, if current policy support for expanding LPG cooking schemes to help tackle energy poverty in developing economies genuinely bears fruit in the coming decades, this non-seasonal demand will soak up much more supply from the US and elsewhere than traditional, temperature-dependent markets, and hence become more influential on prices. Thirdly, as the IEA has noted, the most recent Cop climate pledges fall far short of what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C ceiling for global temperature rises above pre-industrial levels. And a warmer planet will mean lower demand for fuels, clean or otherwise, for space heating. AFEI % of Dubai crude in heating season Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India's Modi exploits energy to boost poll support


12/04/24
News
12/04/24

India's Modi exploits energy to boost poll support

Short-term support for key election constituencies could weigh on longer-term energy policy priorities, writes Rituparna Ghosh Mumbai, 12 April (Argus) — Energy issues are taking a starring role in India's forthcoming election, less because of what is at stake in terms of long-term policy and more because of how the government of prime minister Narendra Modi is using voter-friendly initiatives to try and secure the support of key parts of the electorate. India's federal elections are set to take place over the next two months, and Modi's BJP party holds a comfortable poll lead over a largely disorganised opposition — a lead they hope will translate into an absolute majority for a third consecutive term. But Modi's government is looking to consolidate that support through a number of measures that embrace both traditional and cleaner energy sources. 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Price controls on diesel and gasoline had been lifted in October 2014, but the government has frequently interfered with pump prices — especially prior to state and federal polls — through the country's state-controlled oil marketing companies — state-run firms, led by Indian Oil, control 90pc of India's fuel market. The two-year freeze began in May 2022, when international crude prices reached $120/bl following Russia's invasion of Ukraine three months earlier, sending Indian pump prices to record highs. Modi's government has also played some other familiar vote-winning cards. LPG subsidies have long been exploited by Indian politicians to win favour with voters, and the BJP increased these subsidies by more than fivefold in its 2023-24 budget — to $1.5bn from $273mn — to boost access to LPG and reduce cooking gas prices for poorer households. Around 322mn Indian households use LPG, but domestic consumption has plateaued at around 28mn t/yr in recent years. LPG subsidies have been maintained at $1.5bn in the 2024-25 budget. The extra funds announced last month enabled the government to extend by one year, to April 2025, a Rs300 ($3.60) LPG cylinder subsidy for poor households, in addition to implementing a general Rs100 price cut for a 14.2kg LPG cylinder to Rs503. Access to LPG has already been vastly expanded by Modi's Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana programme for women in poorer households, launched during his first term in 2015. The scheme has enabled 100mn poor, rural households to secure access to LPG, helping them switch away from harmful biomass such as wood and reducing the incidence of respiratory disease among rural women. The LPG subsidies are aimed at the rural poor, but Modi's government is framing its enthusiastic support for ethanol and biofuels to woo a different constituency — farmers in the politically powerful states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. New Delhi is promoting ethanol for blending with gasoline and has set a 20pc blending target by 2025. This move could improve India's energy security and trade balance by reducing its dependence on imported crude, which meets around 88pc of its crude needs. The government estimates it saved $2.7bn by blending ethanol into gasoline in 2021-22, and blending in the three months to January 2024 reached 11pc. But more importantly, particularly with an election looming, biofuels are additional sources of revenue for both farmers and distillers. Ethanol in India is derived primarily from sugar cane, which makes it politically sensitive. India's sugar cane industry is the second-largest in the world after Brazil, and sugar cane farmers are an important voting block — Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are the biggest producing states and played a major role in Modi's re-election in 2019. Farmers in these states previously faced regular late payments from sugar distillers, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars outstanding. But the additional income that sugar mills now generate from ethanol has allowed them to catch up on these arrears, oil minister Hardeep Puri says. The government has also promoted solar power to households, under a $9bn rooftop solar plan that aims to install solar panels in 10mn households. New Delhi is offering a 60pc subsidy on the entire system cost, with loans available to cover the balance. The proposed scheme may add 30GW of solar power capacity through residential rooftop solar panels, an area where India has lagged behind. Longer-term costs The current focus on voter-friendly energy policies comes at a cost. Longer-term objectives relating to energy security — specifically strategic petroleum storage — energy transition and foreign investment have received less attention. Budget allocations to state-run oil companies for energy transition investments have been halved in the current fiscal year, to $1.8bn, and actual disbursement of these funds has been postponed until the 2024-25 fiscal year. The government in November scrapped its plans to buy $603mn of crude to fill its strategic underground storage, after providing for such outlays in the 2023-24 budget, and it has not made any allocation for refilling strategic stocks in its 2024-25 budget. New Delhi is also facing delays in building the 6.5mn t second phase of its strategic petroleum reserve, owing to challenges with funding and the potential role of foreign partners. It initially wanted to build the reserve on its own but subsequently sought third parties to help with funding. It has now invited bids to build India's first commercial strategic storage, comprising 2.5mn t of underground storage at Padur in Karnataka at a cost of $700mn, with state-controlled Saudi Aramco and the UAE's state-owned Adnoc. Discussions begin this week. India will need to resolve and make progress on these issues, given its aspiration to join Paris-based energy watchdog the IEA, whose rules stipulate that members must hold strategic oil stocks equivalent to 90 days of net imports. The Indian reserve's first phase offers 5.33mn t of storage capacity across three sites, equivalent to only seven days of crude demand, government documents indicate. On foreign investment, India's demand potential is helping attract investors to green energy, to the tune of $6bn over April 2020-September 2023, power minister RK Singh told the Indian parliament in December. But the country's chronic inability to lure investors into oil and gas remains a problem, particularly in light of Modi's ambitions of making India an economic superpower to rival China. Foreign investment in India's oil and gas sector reached a record $806mn in 2019-20, before the Covid-19 pandemic, oil ministry data show. But it plunged to just $56mn in 2021-22 and to $108mn in 2022-23, representing a nugatory 0.2pc of total foreign direct investment flows into the country. Foreign investment in exploration totalled just $16mn in 2022-23, while investment in refining was nil. Indian ethanol blending FDI in Indian oil and gas Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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St1 and SCA start SAF, HVO production in Sweden


10/04/24
News
10/04/24

St1 and SCA start SAF, HVO production in Sweden

London, 10 April (Argus) — Finnish energy company St1 and Swedish forestry company SCA said production has begun at their jointly owned biorefinery in Gothenburg, Sweden. St1 told Argus that the refinery will have the capacity to produce 200,000 t/yr of renewable fuel, at least 40pc of which will be hydrotreated esters and fatty acids synthetic paraffinic kerosine (HEFA-SPK) sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), at least 30pc hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), 10pc bio-naphtha and 5pc bio-LPG. The remainder will be split between SAF and HVO. Most of the production will be exported, St1 said, adding that the company is working with aviation fuel suppliers and airlines as offtakers of the product. Some of the feedstocks will be used cooking oil, animal fats and tall oil fatty acids, the latter sourced from SCA's paper and pulp mills. Some feedstock will be supplied from St1's fatty food waste recycling company Brocklesby. The production will be International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified. By Evelina Lungu Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Panama Canal to restrict May transits on work


09/04/24
News
09/04/24

Panama Canal to restrict May transits on work

New York, 9 April (Argus) — Maintenance at the Panama Canal for the Panamax locks, responsible for around 70pc of all ship crossings at the waterway, will cut the daily number of vessel transits through these locks for nine days in mid-May, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said today. The ACP said it will reduce Panamax lock transits from 7 May to 14 May by three to a total of 17. The cuts entail two fewer "super" category slots for vessels like medium range (MR) tankers and Supramax bulkers and one fewer "regular" category slot for smaller vessels. An additional day of downtime "allowing 24 hours for unforeseeable maintenance delays" will put the projected end-date for maintenance and the return to 20 total Panamax lock transits on 16 May, according to the ACP, constituting a nine-day reduced-transit period that should drop total transits in the period by around 27 vessels. The potential for heightened competition amid a backlog of vessels vying to transit during this time could be mitigated by assigning "additional transits per day for each vessel category" based on the canal's "daily water consumption quota", according to the ACP. "These additional slots may be assigned to booked vessels that have already arrived at canal waters," the ACP said. "This measure is a temporary service subject to operational assessment, open to all vessel types based on the arrival date." The maintenance will primarily target the west lane of the Gatun locks, where ships enter the Panama Canal from the Atlantic basin, while the ACP noted that the east lane of the Miraflores locks on the Pacific side will undergo a simultaneous maintenance period from 11-12 May. Panamax lock transit auction prices hit low The average cost for ship operators to win an auction to transit the Panama Canal via the Panamax locks hit its lowest level Monday since Argus began the assessment in January on lower demand, particularly for dry bulkers utilizing alternative routings, and an uptick in auction slots in early March . "Since the peak period last year, auction prices have leveled off. They are generally near normal levels today," said the ACP. The rate for a Panamax lock auction dropped by $14,173 to $94,314, the lowest average price to transit since 26 January and representing a drop of $450,936 from the high hit on 5 February on a jump in demand ahead of lunar new year holidays across Asia-Pacific. Of the smaller dry bulkers that can fit in the Panamax locks, only 34 Handysize, 38 Supramax, and 31 Ultramax bulkers transited the Panama Canal in March compared with the 92 Handysize, 66 Supramax, and 88 Ultramax bulkers that transited in March 2023, the lowest number of transits in March for these segments through 2017, according to Kpler data. Dry bulk Panama Canal transits down, tanker transits stabilizing The share of dry bulkers utilizing the Panamax locks at the Panama Canal was at 15.2pc of total transits in February, down from the 25.5pc share that dry bulkers held in September 2023, according to ACP data, before the ACP instituted daily vessel restrictions and the current prebooking/auction slot system supplanted the previous, first-come, first-serve waiting system in late October 2023. Meanwhile, 149 MR tankers transited in March, down from the 169 that transited in the same period the year prior but up from the 107 MRs that crossed the canal in February. MR transits have risen every year in March, according to Kpler, as west coast South America diesel demand jumps on the resurgence of refinery utilization in the US Gulf coast after the first quarter turnaround season draws to a close. Crude, product, and chemical tanker transits rose by 1.7 percentage points to 30.3pc, making up the plurality of all Panamax lock transits collectively in February from September 2023, according to ACP data. The uptick in available Panamax lock auctions in early March has likely offset the steady demand for these vessels and contributed to the downward pressure on auction prices, while the reduced transits during the upcoming nine days of maintenance could reverse this trend in the short term. ACP expects transit restrictions to lift by 2025 In the long term, the Panama Canal expects a return to normalcy within the next two years, beginning with the start of the rainy season in the coming weeks. "Current forecasts indicate that steady rainfall will arrive in late April and continue for a few months," the ACP said today. "If this remains the case, the canal plans to gradually ease transit restrictions, allowing conditions to fully normalize by 2025." By Ross Griffith Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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