Archive for the ‘trading’ Category

The shipping business gets ready — with new fees — for the dawn of cleaner fuels

The bunker fuel market in the Atlantic Basin is just a bit more than 100 days away from the next shift in the sulfur emissions cap on ships traveling within 200 miles of shore in North America and North West Europe, a designated Emissions Control Area. And some of its impact on costs is starting to show up.

After several months of vague rumblings about higher costs, we’re beginning to see a clearer picture of just how much more shippers expect to pay to comply with this stricter rule. MSC on Monday became what we believe is the third company to announce per-container surcharges intended to offset its expected higher fuel bills come January.

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Bank commodity trading and the US Fed: An unfolding relationship

Last week something serendipitous happened. I went to what was ostensibly a briefing and news broke out.

The news was that the big French bank BNP Paribas, after some high-level recruitment from a decamping JP Morgan Chase, intends to try and rebuild North American physical electricity trading to go along with its existing natural gas trading operations done primarily through its offices in New York.

BNP’s decision bucks the trend set by a number of other big banks—most notably JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Barclays Plc– who have pulled out of several areas of physical energy commodity trading due to a combination of changing market conditions and flagging revenues, but perhaps most importantly, due to mounting regulations.

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US airlines are taking the hedge off on jet fuel

An old investing adage is to buy on the dips, a philosophy generally followed by US airlines in the hedging market over the years. This year? Not so much.

Jet fuel prices have declined in price and volatility so far in 2014. So has jet fuel hedging, at least in the US. What is essentially insurance on any airline’s single-largest cost has become seen as less than necessary.

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Montreal could become an oil export hub as markets continue to shift

Montreal has emerged as an export base for Western Canadian heavy sour crudes as prospects to construct new pipelines to the British Columbia coast, Eastern Canada and US fade.

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A small Maine city may have set off a big fight over oil movements

The next big fight in the war over oil and gas development in the US — or at least one of the next big fights – will be over local control. That issue ramped up this week and appears to raise a significant question of federalism.

The city council in South Portland, Maine, voted this week to approve a package of zoning restrictions that would affect the handling of crude oil in the city. But the laws were drawn to impact the handling of oil being put on to tankers. It doesn’t affect oil being taken off tankers.

Why this is significant is because South Portland is the eastern terminus of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline, which takes crude oil imported into Maine and brings it to Montreal near the St. Lawrence Seaway. It can be refined in Montreal, or moved down Line 9 to Canadian refineries in Ontario.

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Did the US Commerce condensate export rulings mean nothing?

Two US Commerce Department rulings giving a pair of Eagle Ford players legal backing to export processed condensate have been viewed as a dramatic loosening of America’s 40-year ban on crude exports, or at least a sign that long-awaited export policy changes were near.

But what if these private letter rulings really only impact the companies that received them and nothing more?

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The end is nigh for high sulfur European gasoil, despite pockets of demand

It has not been a great year for high sulfur gasoil consumption in Europe, by any stretch of the imagination.

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Regulation & Environment: Cap & Trade comes to California oil product markets

California’s cap and trade law has been reality for a wide variety of CO2 emitters for several years. But they are all stationary sources. In January, it moves to a moving kind of source: motor vehicles. In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, John Kingston, fresh off a trip to the state’s capital city of Sacramento, discusses the implementation of the law in the fuels business.

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S&P Dow Jones launches a new commodity index

Our colleagues at S&P Dow Jones Indices — like Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial — have launched a new commodity index. Investing in commodities through indexes do or do not have a significant impact on price; we cite both sides of the coin to note that it is an issue of significant disagreeement among analysis.

Platts wrote about the launch in this news story on July 1, the day the index was launched. We are republishing here a blog posting from S&P’s blog Indexology, written by Jodie Gunzberg, global head of commodities for S&P Dow Jones Indices. We have featured Jodie’s views on The Barrel previously.

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Foreign-owned steelmakers in the US go native and sue “foreigners”

A funny thing happened on the way to international free trade.

If you know what a NIMBY is, that should provide a clue. When foreign steel mills started buying American producers some thought they might eventually see an end to costly and disruptive unfair trade case filings as a more international perspective flourished in the market. (If you don’t know, NIMBY stands for “Not in my back yard.”)

But the filing of American steel dumping and countervailing duty cases never ended. There has been a resurgence in recent years, and more are expected to be filed or finalized this year and next. Steel has been the most litigated product in human history and likely still holds that honor.

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