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West Africa Under Pressure

March 21, 2018

Suezmax rates in West Africa have come under pressure recently, with TD20 last assessed at WS 52.5, about 9% lower than the year-to-date average.  Rates made considerable gains towards the WS 70 level at the start of the month in concert with a tightening of the regional position list, which fell to the lowest level since the beginning of the year.  In general, Suezmax demand out of West Africa has been quite strong this year with a 31% rise in spot market activity year-on-year, according to our commercial fixture database.  We note considerable growth in volumes bound for Asian ...

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Dubai Weakness Promotes AG Exports

March 15, 2018

In McQuilling Services’ March Short-Term Outlook, we expressed our expectation of higher crude demand out of the Arabian Gulf in the near term due to recent weakness in Dubai crude pricing.  In our report, we note the expansion of the Brent-Dubai crude differential, averaging about US $3.04/bbl through the first half of March, up from US $2.61/bbl in February.  The growing presence of US crude flows to Asia is likely a supportive factor as we observed February crude exports average roughly 1.5 million b/d, according to preliminary estimates by the US EIA, which compares ...

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Steel Prices Are Rising….For Now

March 6, 2018

The US administration recently proposed the implementation of 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminum in an effort to support production of metals at home.  Critics claim that the increased cost of importing resources will likely be passed along to the consumer and businesses, negatively impacting economic growth; however, supporters believe this is a necessary step towards “America first” policies and revitalizing US industry.  It remains unclear how these policy changes will impact prices; however, regarding the tanker market, a rise in global steel prices could prove beneficial to the rebalancing efforts.  February steel prices are estimated at ...

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