China’s Oil Demand Will Surprise to the Upside in 2019

Hellenic Shipping News:

Contrary to some observers who focus intently on trade data as a proxy for demand, China’s total oil product demand rose by only 150,000 b/d in 2018. This is part of the reason why the global oil market is so weak as the year comes to an end. China’s oil demand will surprise again in 2019, but this time by rising by over 400,000 b/d, according to ESAI Energy’s latest China Watch. This rebound is comprised mainly of non-marketed naphtha at two new petrochemical integrated refineries, as well as LPG demand from a wave of PDH investment.

Market Alert: OPEC Takes Step to Balance 2019

The OPEC+ decision to cut crude oil output by 1.2 million b/d (from October) should be enough to balance the global oil market for the next six months, and possibly the entire year if extended. Yet, it will not fully counteract the surplus that accumulated in the latter half of 2018. So, while this agreement is clearly supportive of prices, the magnitude of the upside in 2019 will depend on compliance with the agreement, future changes to Iran sanctions waivers, product demand growth meeting expectations, and IMO preparations later in the year.

Peace Deal in South Sudan adds another 70,000 b/d of crude to market

Hellenic Shipping News:

As the market eagerly awaits an OPEC+ deal, non-OPEC producers continue to make gains. Sudan and South Sudan are likely to raise crude oil production in 2019, according to ESAI Energy’s recently published Africa Watch. A peace deal in September halted South Sudan’s five-year civil war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and others backing Vice President Riek Machar. The peace deal has, for now, stopped fighting that has decimated Sudan and South Sudan’s crude production since the latter’s independence in 2011.