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北海原油市场受到亚洲石油需求提振

2020-12-10     来源: 中国石化新闻网
石化新闻

    中国石化新闻网讯 据彭博社12月7日报道,北海石油价格终于走强,赶上了其他地区的涨势。此前,由于亚洲的购买兴趣不断上升,亚洲许多地区的石油需求已经从新冠肺炎疫情中恢复。

    彭博社编制的船舶跟踪数据显示,随着一队超级油轮向东航行,北海浮式储存的原油已从10月中旬的峰值下降逾40%,至740万桶左右。与此同时,布伦特基准原油Forties的价格已升至8月底以来的最高水平,掉期价格也出现飙升。

    过去几周,亚洲炼油厂纷纷抢购中东、美国和俄罗斯的原油,尤其是独立的中小炼油厂,将在明年年初获得了更多的政府补贴,以增加进口。虽然对北海石油的需求增长缓慢,但好消息是,情况已经开始发生变化。

    北海市场的疲软在10月下旬达到顶峰,当时市场上充斥着对鹿特丹货物的报价。据关注全球定价窗口的交易员表示,该地区只有少数几家石油公司投标。40年代原油的价格比基准的布伦特原油每桶低20 - 60美分,甚至低于硫含量更高的俄罗斯乌拉尔原油。

    这里要特别指出的是超大型油轮的起航。欧洲炼油厂购买了北海60%以上的石油。然而,政府为抗击疫情而采取的限制措施抑制了需求,欧洲的几家工厂由于利润率低迷而停产。为了减少由此产生的过剩,贸易商预订了一支超级油轮船队,将未售出的货物运往东方。至少14艘10月和11月将装载约2800万桶北海原油的船只已经离开欧洲前往亚洲,这一数字是8月和9月总和的两倍多。

    这些船舶的离开消除了部分供应过剩的危机,推高了价格。目前海上只有三艘装有北海原油的超级油轮,其中一艘在新加坡附近。

    与该地区原油挂钩的掉期市场也显示出北海的紧张局势。价差合约(反映该地区现货市场实力的指标)本周进入了一种称为逆价差的结构,在这种结构中,现货价格会高于未来的价格。这表明未来6周北海原油前景看好,月度掉期交易也升至数月来最强水平。布伦特原油期货曲线已走强至类似的结构,表明市场前景非常乐观。

    王佳晶 摘译自 彭博社

    原文如下:

    North Sea Crude Market Gets a Jolt From Asian Oil Demand

    North Sea oil prices are finally strengthening, catching up with other markets that already rallied on the back of rising buying interest from Asia, where demand in many places has already recovered from Covid-19.

    North Sea crude stored on ships has plunged by more than 40% to about 7.4 million barrels from a peak in mid-October, as a flotilla of supertankers sails east, ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Meanwhile, the price of Forties crude, which sets the region’s Dated Brent benchmark, has risen to the highest level since late August. Swaps prices -- an indication of physical market’s strength -- have also surged.

    Over the past several weeks, Asian refineries have snapped up crude oil from the Middle East, the U.S. and Russia as buyers -- especially independent “teapot” refineries -- received more government allowances to boost imports after the start of next year. Demand for North Sea barrels was slow to pick up, but even that’s now started to change.

    The recent North Sea-market weakness peaked in late October, when the market was flooded with offers for cargoes delivered to Rotterdam. There were just a handful of bids for the region’s oil, according to traders monitoring the pricing window. Forties crude mostly traded at a discount of 20 to 60 cents a barrel to benchmark Dated Brent -- making it cheaper even than Russia’s Urals grade, which has a higher sulfur content.

    Supertankers Sail

    European refiners typically buy more than 60% of the North Sea’s oil. However, government restrictions to fight the pandemic have curbed demand, and several European plants are halting amid weak margins. In order to reduce the resulting surplus, traders have booked a fleet of supertankers to move unsold cargoes east. At least 14 vessels carrying about 28 million barrels of North Sea crude for October and November loading have left Europe for Asia -- more than double the figure during August and September combined.

    The departure of those ships has helped to drive down the surplus in the region, boosting prices. There are now just three supertankers with North Sea crude floating at sea, including one off Singapore. Forties was bid at a premium of 20 cents a barrel on Friday. And the physical market is now dominated by bids rather than offers.

    The tightness in the North Sea is also showing up in swaps markets tied to the region’s crude. Contracts for difference, an indication of the region’s physical market strength, this week entered a structure known as backwardation, where more immediate prices are higher than those further in the future. That suggests a bullish outlook for North Sea crude in the next six weeks. Monthly swaps have also risen to their strongest in months.

    The futures curve for Brent has strengthened into a similar structure, indicating a more optimistic market outlook.

 
 
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