Originally Released on 9 November 2017
Chinese Oil-on-Water Moves Higher
In late October and early November, total Chinese oil-on-water volumes fell by more than 15 million barrels. This trend has since reversed itself over the course of the last week. Between 11/3 and 11/9, total oil-on-water grew by 10 million barrels – a 43% increase in just 6 days.
The loading situation at Kirkuk Terminal grew worse over the past week. Between 11/2 and 11/9, only one load took place (717 kbd) and there was an unprecedented 6-day gap where no loadings took place at all. This follows two weeks of successively lower levels of crude leaving the port. This all began with fighting in Northern Iraq between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in mid-October.
Much of October realized large and consistent daily U.S. export loadings. Week-ending 11/3 broke this upward trend. Only two loading days (10/29 and 10/30) surpassed the 1.5-million-barrel mark…the previous week realized six such days.
Between 11/1 and 11/5, PADD 3 oil-on-water fell by 13.2 million barrels. This trend has since reversed increasing 4 million barrels over the past 3-days. Most of this oil appears to be moving in and out of the region quite quickly as floating storage remains largely at or below 20% – this is a change from the 30%+ levels realized after Hurricane Harvey.
Between May and August of this year, South Korea stopped receiving shipments of Chinese crude. This was a subtle change from earlier in the year when South Korea was importing an average of 74 kbd from China on a weekly basis. Over the past several weeks, Chinese crude has once again flowed towards South Korea. The next shipment is due to arrive aboard the Ds Venture on November 14th.