Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

The world is flat … at least for global ethylene producers while oil prices are low

On Jan. 20, WTI and Dated Brent closed at $26.54/b and 25.96/b, respectively, the lowest we have seen oil prices since 2003. Since then we have seen prices rise and hover around the $30/b level.

Unlike ethane, naphtha is highly correlated with the price of oil. Therefore, fluctuations in global oil prices will have a major impact on steam crackers, more so in Europe and Asia where most producers utilize naphtha as a feedstock for producing ethylene.

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Miami meeting looks to Asia to help buoy demand for met coal

Metallurgical coal market traders and miners who met in Miami this week see Asia’s promise perking optimism after a run of price declines and bankruptcies.

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Lay-ups loom in the dry freight market

I stare out my office window on the 23rd floor and there they are, stretched out as far as my eyes can see, dry bulk vessels sitting pretty in the Singapore strait.

Although each vessel is of a different shape and size they all have one common enemy — unemployment.

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Iran’s post-sanctions oil plans and their market impact

This weekend the world witnessed what has been hailed as the most significant diplomatic breakthrough since the collapse of the Soviet Union: the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran.

The lifting of sanctions, which came late Saturday, followed confirmation from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency that Tehran had fulfilled its obligations under an agreement last summer to limit its nuclear program.

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Japan set for sweeping refining landscape change: Fuel for Thought

The Japanese refining industry is set for a landslide change as it aims to balance domestic supplies, stabilize its core petroleum business at home, and once that’s settled, expand overseas.

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The cyclical nature of spreads and effects on PDH propylene

Propane prices are cyclical, peaking during the winter and bottoming out during the summer, and propane/propylene spreads hit their lowest during the winter and their highest during the summer. After all, feedstock prices are the biggest component of production costs in this industry.

While last winter was an anomaly, due to the drastic drop in global oil prices impacting many commodities, propane prices dropped alongside other prices. This year we are seeing the return to normalcy regarding propane pricing, but at a time when Asia is seeing low propylene prices, margins have deteriorated, and PDH units are feeling the impact the most.

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The Oil Big Five: Scandal, politics, and looking ahead

There are certain times of the year that seem to rush by and October is one of those, as evidenced by this installment of The Oil Big Five coming out a bit later than usual. In some ways, this is an indicator of how much there is to do and keep track of, including for the global oil industry.

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The effects of ethane steam crackers on the blink

The price of oil certainly has some effect on the petrochemical prices throughout the value chain, but supply/demand fundamentals will always be the biggest driver. It is the unplanned outages that create uncertainty, and that was certainly the case this year.

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The Oil Big Five: No slowdown for oil

High summer can often be seen as a slow period, when the heat and prospect of a holiday can make it hard to work up the effort to make news. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full force, and luckily for us, news is also heating up in the world of oil.

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Asia drawing better purchase terms for Mideast crude as competition intensifies

There is little doubt that additional crude oil supplies from Iran will intensify competition among Middle Eastern producers, which are already fighting to secure their share of Asia’s dynamic markets against the influx of barrels from western hemisphere suppliers that can no longer rely on the US market.

Tehran’s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers will eventually lead to additional flows of Iranian oil onto world markets, but oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has already said the thrust of the marketing focus will be on Asia, where Iran has been able to maintain a foothold in the four key consuming countries.

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