Russian Romance with OPEC Blossoms

Russian embrace of OPEC+ is about both the oil price and Russian power. Collaborating with OPEC members has brought Russia much success in terms of its ability to insert itself as a regional powerbroker and otherwise expand its influence in the Middle East. This secondary goal decreases the likelihood of Russia breaking with the Saudis in coordinating production policy anytime soon.

OPEC+ Can Manage 2019, but Maybe Not 2020

Hellenic Shipping News: Weak demand and soft crude oil prices mean that early next week the OPEC+ countries should extend their production restraint another six months. They will be rewarded with higher crude oil prices (unless the trade dispute significantly worsens, or further chaos comes out of the G20 meeting). It would be in the best interests of the group to extend this production restraint again in six months, as the call on OPEC falls further in 2020. But it will be harder to do so because, ceteris paribus, oil prices will be higher, and some of the current overcompliance will be gone, and some undercompliance will have set in. That does not bode well for agreeing to another extension. This will eventually put downward pressure on prices, even with the distillate demand requirements that accompany the IMO.

Yields Begin to Shift from Fuel Oil To Diesel in Japan and South Korea

Although diesel production in Asia Pacific will grow by only 60,000 b/d this year, higher diesel yields driven by IMO sulfur rules have already emerged in Japan and South Korea. This, together with a ramp up of new refineries in Southeast Asia and a potential recovery in China, will boost regional diesel output by 260,000 b/d to 10 million b/d in 2020.