MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were steady to lower in mid-morning trade in Asia July 8 as the market continued to be supported by compliance with OPEC+ production cuts, with further gains were capped by rising COVID-19 case counts in the US, reported S&P Global.
At 10 am Singapore time (0200 GMT), ICE Brent September crude futures were down 11 cents/b (0.26%) from the July 7 settle at USD42.97/b, while the NYMEX August light sweet crude contract was 11 cents/b (0.27%) lower at USD40.51/b.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US is nearing 3 million amid a surge in new infections across California, Texas, Florida and Arizona, latest data from John Hopkins University showed. Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, has also re-imposed strict lockdown measures for six weeks after a spike in infections.
"Oil price rally runs on thin ice amid resurgence of COVID-19 cases," ANZ analysts said in a note July 8.
However expectations of further inventory withdrawals in the US and continued compliance with OPEC+ production cuts was keeping market sentiment positive, providing enough support to keep crude prices rangebound.
OPEC's crude output in June hit a three-decade low of 22.31 million b/d, according to an S&P Global Platts survey. This pushed the group's compliance to 106% of its committed production cuts, up from 85% in May, according to Platt's calculations.
"Without a significant shift in the narrative, price action is floundering as traders become more accustomed to minor retracements and rallies, while taking a more noticably defensive posture, not wanting to run with the bull or bear baton too far ahead of the oil market's immediate economic realities," AxiCorp chief global markets analyst Stephen Innes said in a note July 8.
The US Energy Information Administration in its monthly report published July 7 boosted its 2020 outlook for crude futures and US oil production on OPEC+ supply cuts and rising demand after many regions eased movement restrictions and lifted lockdowns in June.
The EIA now sees Brent prices averaging USD40.50/b in 2020 and expects output to average 11.63 million b/d in they year, up 70,000 b/d from its June forecast, and forecast global oil demand contraction will fall to 8.15 million b/d, down from 8.34 million b/d projected last month.
As MRC informed before, global oil consumption cut by up to a third in Q1 2020. What happens next in the oil market depends on how quickly and completely the global economy emerges from lockdown, and whether the recessionary hit lingers through the rest of this year and into 2021.
Earlier this year, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.
We remind that in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 595,170 tonnes in the first five month of 2020, up by 10% year on year. Deliveries of all ethylene polymers, except for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), rose partially because of an increase in capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.