Crude has had another firm week before easing off a little today and November is looking to have seen crude oil markets firm by about 20%. Market has been firm on the news of more potential Covid vaccines reporting good success rates, even though none of them are approved for use yet. The theory being that if the vaccinations are being used, demand for oil and products will pick up and the world economy will get back on track. In reality, there will be no real improvement until well into next year. Over the weekend, meetings of the OPEC+ ministers failed to come to an agreement on extending production cuts, so the market will be volatile until a final decision is made over the next couple of days.
Singapore barge avails are tightening with some suppliers looking 10 days out already, China also showing tightness as deliveries move away from Singapore. Korea is very tight with SK offering for VLSFO and GS Caltex offering for HSFO on many enquiries. Fujairah avails are reasonable and barges OK for 3-4 days out. Med seeing some tightness on avails in various ports and a very volatile market making suppliers less keen to offer. NWE looking 5-6 days out with some tightness. Availability of LNG in Rotterdam and NWE continues to be good and suppliers keen on new business. Houston and New Orleans avails remain good with some suppliers able to supply on a prompt basis while others are already congested through the end of the week. Suppliers in Panama looking about 5-7 days out.
In the US, the number of operating oil and natural gas rigs has risen for the fourth month in a row as producers return to production.