David Arno, Senior Oil Market Analyst
Bachar El Halabi, Geopolitical Analyst
Is there an Urgency for Biden to Re-enter the JCPOA? 02/03/2021 | By Bachar El Halabi
The new Biden administration is likely to take a more cooperative approach with Iran regarding the country’s nuclear program, with a new diplomatic accord more a question of scope and detail rather than likelihood. Of course, this remains relative to a benchmark policy of the previous administration. Yet, Biden’s decision will shape US-MENA relations throughout […]
Olivia Liu, Senior Analyst - Agricultural Markets
MARKET HOLDS ONTO BULLISH GRAIN STORY 10/16/2020 | By Olivia Liu
Winter wheat dryness has intensified, as ongoing dryness across the US High Plains has limited moisture for wheat germination and establishment. This has pushed Kansas and CBOT wheat prices higher, with the US hard red wheat carry-out expected to be at a multiyear low. As the bread basket of Ukraine, the southern region remained short […]
ORIGIN BEAN CRUSH SLOWS AS CHINA GROWS 10/12/2020 | By Olivia Liu
The USDA in October WASDE reduced Argentine old crop production by 700 tmt from Sep while reducing exports and crush, as Argentina loses competitiveness versus the US. Brazil crushers have also started to feel the shortage of beans, despite previously loading significant meal. Despite the changes from September, the USDA estimates major origin crush to […]
Grains Export Pace Tracker Snapshot 7/16/2020 07/16/2020 | By Olivia Liu
The export tracker provides us a view of where we stand in terms of pace in grains exports. By comparing Clipperdata’s up-to-date tracking of commodity loadings and the USDA estimated crop year exports, it calculates the ratio that has been shipped for the current marketing year, factoring a historical average difference between crop year Clipperdata trackings […]
USDA June Acreage and Stocks Report Summary 07/01/2020 | By Olivia Liu
The USDA June acreage report was particularly bullish for corn. USDA estimated the US corn planted area at 92.0 mln acres, 5.0 below the March estimate and 3.2 below the market average estimate. This translates to approximately 822 mbu less corn production, assuming the June yield estimate and harvest ratio. This would drastically lower the […]
Matt Smith, Director of Commodity Research
Reverse V-Shaped Recovery Boosts Oil Price 06/19/2020 | By Matt Smith
Brent crude prices have more than doubled since the lows of late April, and while part of that is a reflection of the demand-driven recovery we’ve seen on a global basis, it is also the result of global oil producers throttling back on exports. While this recent discipline is to be commended, let us not […]
Chinese Crude Floating Storage Surpasses 50 Million Barrels 06/16/2020 | By Matt Smith
Vessels laden with crude waiting offshore China for more than seven days – which we classify as floating storage – has climbed above 50 million barrels for the first time. As the chart below illustrates, this volume is far beyond what is typical – the average over the first four months of this year was […]
Record Saudi Flows vs Tariff Woes 04/06/2020 | By Matt Smith
I was on CNBC Asia last night, discussing the potential for a synchronized production cut – or the prospects of US oil tariffs – amid rampant Saudi crude loadings in recent weeks. We discussed whether the threat of US tariffs on oil imports were more ‘bark than bite’ – and it does indeed seem that […]
ClipperClip: The Three C’s 02/06/2020 | By Matt Smith
This morning’s appearance on CNBC Squawk Box covered the three c’s of oil – cartels, coronavirus and companies. Hark, click on the below mugshot to launch to the clip:
Amir Richani, Geopolitical Analyst
Higher Flows Amid Mexican Refinery Woes 08/31/2020 | By Amir Richani
The Mexican government is falling short on its promises for the energy sector once again. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) vowed to considerably increase refinery runs earlier this year, and despite a rebound in April, Mexican crude processing has tumbled to 534,000 bpd in July. Mexico has meanwhile experienced a steady increase in clean product imports, […]
Will China and Australian Relations Boomerang Back? 07/27/2020 | By Amir Richani
The latest developments in international relations between Australia and China could result in a case of “what goes around comes around”, as Australia’s recent finger-wagging could return to haunt it. Australia hopped onto the world stage when it demanded an investigation into China for the spread of the coronavirus, which has crippled the global economy […]
The Latam Corona vs. Economy Dilemma 07/14/2020 | By Amir Richani
Coronavirus was a distant concern for us in Latin America back in February. Higher infection rates in colder weather made the idea of COVID-19 even harder to grasp as a threat. Life continued as normal, and the pandemic felt a world away. To our chagrin, we learned that cold Cuba Libres at the beach would […]
Awaiting the Rebound in Latin American Product Demand 06/26/2020 | By Amir Richani
The number of coronavirus cases in Latin America continues to rise, with more than 1.4 million people infected in Brazil and Mexico. The lockdowns and quarantines of recent months have weighed heavily on clean product demand in these countries – something starkly reflected in their import volumes. As we close out June, Mexican clean product […]
US-China Energy Flows Belie Combative Rhetoric 06/08/2020 | By Amir Richani
Tension between the United States and China has ratcheted up in recent weeks amid increasingly hostile rhetoric. The global spread of the coronavirus has further hurt relations between Beijing and Washington, stoking the possibility of a new trade war amid a global economic slowdown. However, from a flows perspective, all seems to be fine. LPG, […]
Andrew Couper, Oil Markets Analyst
Shipping lines slash May container capacity, extend cuts well into June 05/07/2020 | By Andrew Couper
Container capacity on all major trade lanes has been severely reduced, with the deepest cut planned for Asia – Red Sea at 14%. The world’s most active trade lane has taken a 10% haircut, while Asia – US West Coast has been dialed back 8%. The cuts extend well into June, and in some cases […]
Global Missed Port Calls Rise With Coronavirus 02/24/2020 | By Andrew Couper
Container ship visits to Chinese ports, measured both in number of vessels scheduled to call and their cumulative capacity in twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) plunged in late January and early February – largely due to the normal seasonal downturn associated with Chinese New Year being exacerbated by the onset of the coronavirus. At the same time, […]
Container Data Reflect Negative Impact of US-China Trade War 02/12/2020 | By Andrew Couper
The signing of the Phase One trade deal between China and the US is welcomed, as the latest trade flow volumes highlight the negative impact that the trade war has had on container trade between the two countries. Figure 1: Top country to country flows between US and Asia. Bars display the level of TEU […]
Missed port calls by container vessels offer early insight into economic slowdown 02/04/2020 | By Andrew Couper
The effect of the coronavirus outbreak on world trade is yet to become clearly visible in shipping data, but there are already signs of a slowdown. The number of missed port calls – scheduled port visits that are skipped by the vessel – is one way to measure the immediate impact of a slowdown in […]
Brazilian Group II Appetite Grows 01/28/2020 | By Andrew Couper
Exports of Group II base oils from the United States to Brazil grew for the third consecutive year in 2019 as Brazil’s demand for more advanced lubricant formulations continues to grow. US exports of Group II products to Brazil hit a record 274,897 tons in 2019, up from 228,342 tons in 2018 and 123,788 tons […]
Rebecca Salsbury, Oil Market Analyst
FOFT: Japan’s Hokuriku Electric Drastically Reducing Fuel Oil and Crude Burns 02/28/2020 | By Rebecca Salsbury
Reflecting the introduction of liquid natural gas (LNG) for power generation in late 2018, Japanese utility Hokuriku Electric Power Company is expected to cut fuel oil and crude oil consumption by more than 85% in fiscal year of 2019, which runs from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
FOFT: China’s Hengrunde Petrochemical to Temporarily Stop Selling Residual Fuel Oil 02/28/2020 | By Rebecca Salsbury
After selling all residual fuel oil stock in the beginning of February, China’s independent refinery (teapot) Hengrunde Petrochemical inGuangrao, Shandong paused residual fuel oil sales, waiting for the market to return to normal from the interruption of the coronavirus outbreak.
FOFT: Ningbo Zhongjin Petrochemicals of China Buying High Sulfur SRFO from Spot Market 02/28/2020 | By Rebecca Salsbury
Chinese private-owned Ningbo Zhongjin Petrochemicals has imported straight run fuel oil(SRFO) mainly from spot market since last year. The company had imported about 3 million metric tons of SRFO on both a spot and term basis after its start-up in August 2015.
Beyond 2020: Pyrolysis Fuel Oil Exports From Taiwan’s Formosa Gaining Popularity 06/26/2019 | By Rebecca Salsbury
As the market sped up preparations for 0.5%S bunker fuel ahead of the IMO sulfur cap, Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC) of Taiwan has started to see demand for its pyrolysis fuel oil (PFO) export.
Beyond 2020 – In the Markets: Eramet Awards Shell One-Year Fuel Oil Supply Contract 06/26/2019 | By Rebecca Salsbury
Following a tender, Paris-based Eramet awarded Shell International Eastern Trading Company a one-year contract to supply 0.7%S and 2%S fuel oil to its subsidiary, New Caledonian nickel producer Société Le Nickel (SLN) starting September 1.
Josh Lowell, Senior Energy Analyst
Shipping Decarbonization in the 2020s: Building Towards a Sustainable Future 03/02/2021 | By Josh Lowell
Emissions from international shipping are a key contributor to global climate change, with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) finding the sector responsible for approximately 2% of global emissions in 2018. Yet unlike the power generation sector, which can point to a host of low-emission technologies that make CO2 mitigation achievable in the short-term, the shipping […]
Global Distillates Report: Corona Non Grata 03/05/2020 | By Josh Lowell
South Korean exports of middle distillate reached 866,000 bpd in February, the third highest volume on our records and substantially above the 818,000 bpd of exports seen in January.
Waiting on an IMO Diesel Spike 02/13/2020 | By Josh Lowell
One of the widely-held expectations concerning the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 sulfur cap on marine fuels was that the price of gasoil/diesel would spike in the opening months of 2020, as demand for gasoil in the bunker market would strain existing supplies and push prices higher. Six weeks into the new regulatory regime and […]
Global Distillates Weekly 01/31/2020 | By Josh Lowell
Conventional IMO 2020 wisdom stipulated that gasoil supplies would be strained due to added demand from the bunker market, which would yield strong diesel cracks and high prices. That has not yet happened.
Samantha Zhang, Senior Market Data Analyst
Gasoline Import Weekly 01/29/2020 | By Samantha Zhang
Latin American deliveries of gasoline and related products to the United States have been absent for three weeks, though we did have another strong showing from India
US Gasoline Imports Weekly 01/22/2020 | By Samantha Zhang
Northwest European imports came in at 186,000 bpd, triple the level from the previous week. This is also twice of the volume of the five-year average over the same period.
US Gasoline Import Week: Blendstock Bounce 07/19/2019 | By Samantha Zhang
At 780,000 barrels per day, total imports of gasoline and blending components into the US East Coast are down by about 40,000 barrels per day from previous week, and a further 157,000 bpd lower if we only count volume reported to Customs.
US Gasoline Import Week: Coming Elsewhere 06/21/2019 | By Samantha Zhang
Total imports of gasoline and components into the US East Coast for the week ending June 21 were up by 71,000 barrels per day compared to the previous week at 736,000 bpd, and 75,000 bpd higher than the five-year average for this time of year.
US Import Week – Gasoline: Going North 06/14/2019 | By Samantha Zhang
Total imports of gasoline and components into the US East Coast for the week ending June 14 came in at 651,000 barrels per day, up by 109,000 bpd compared to the previous week. Still, imports are 72,000 bpd lower than the five-year average for this time of year.
Tom Pawlicki, Senior Oil Market Analyst
Finish Strong, Restart Strong 01/06/2021 | By Tom Pawlicki
December’s global LPG trade maintained the market’s recent strength, with global discharges totaling 4.36 million barrels per day – a gain of 2% from November. For the full year, the late-year recovery in offtake helped to counter the weakness in the second quarter, and averaged 4.25mn bpd. That was up 0.7% from 2019. South Asia […]
Price Pullback Stokes Ethylene Buying 11/20/2020 | By Tom Pawlicki
Steadily rising prices of ethylene between mid-April and mid-September caused many buyers to turn to alternative sources, but a recent pullback in the market has rekindled interest. Ethylene offtake this month is currently around 172,825 metric tons, and compares to 253,399 Mt in October. Ethylene prices on the US Gulf Coast rallied more than 225% […]
Coronavirus Mitigation Equipment Demand Bucks South American Annual Downturn in LPG Offtake Trend 11/17/2020 | By Tom Pawlicki
Yesterday, I talked about the usual downturn in LPG offtake at this time of year in South America. There is typically pressure on imports to countries like Chile and Brazil due to less demand for LPG heating fuel. This year, however, there is more demand for coronavirus mitigation equipment that uses LPG feedstock to produce […]
TEMPORARY DOWNTURN 11/13/2020 | By Tom Pawlicki
Most petrochemical crackers are running at relatively high operating rates amid the coronavirus pandemic, as demand for virus mitigation products requiring polyolefins remains high. In the UK, however, operations slowed recently at Navigator’s Teesside and Exxon’s Fife plants, as supplies of natural gas liquids feedstock became limited. There are some signs that feedstock production may […]
Olefin Markets- Soft Patch 10/09/2020 | By Tom Pawlicki
It has been a rocky few months in the olefin markets. Global ethylene exports reached a record high in August of 321,852 metric tons, while propylene approached its high-water mark with 291,941 Mt. September’s discharges were strong relative to historical trends, but ended with a decline versus August’s levels. Part of the decline was caused […]
In the world of waterborne energy trading, it’s all about the hard data
These days just about anyone can track a tanker on a map. You can do that for free.
Some of us go further, and apply state-of-the-art predictive algorithms to deduce the tanker’s destination and ETA. And depending on the size of the tanker and where it loaded you can guess at the grade of the cargo.
But that’s all based on what is known in the business as soft data. It’s based on interpretation and conjecture. And let’s face it, no matter how ingenious your algorithms may be, their output is going to suffer if you’re feeding them ambiguities and contradictions.
The solution is to apply a hard-data overlay to your soft-data baseline. Hard data comes from the people who load or discharge the tanker, or are otherwise responsible for the molecules onboard. There is no guesswork involved. Hard data is based on hard facts.
In the US, ClipperData receives bills of lading from the US Customs and Border Protection agency in near real-time. We have been receiving export bills since 2014, and import bills going all the way back to 2009. So if a tanker touches US shores, ClipperData can tell you the exact grades and quantities that make up that cargo. Outside the US, ClipperData relies on agent reports and local sources to build our hard-data overlay.
In 2018, our algorithms matched hard-data sources to 45 percent of refined products movements and more than 50 percent of crude oil movements worldwide. In some particularly difficult-to-disentangle regions, our hard-data source match rates are above 90 percent.
Wondering if that clean cargo from ARA is gasoline or gasoil? If that Iraqi crude cargo is Basrah Heavy or Basrah Light?
Only ClipperData can tell you that.
In 2018 the Russian port of Ust-Luga loaded cargoes of gasoil, jet fuel, naphtha, and gasoline, but one of those grades accounted for 82% of total volume.
Only ClipperData can tell you which one.
In 2018 India decreased its year-on-year imports of one Basrah grade by a few percent, but increased imports of the other grade by over 40%.
Only ClipperData can tell you which is which.
In early 2018 the VLCC Karan loaded offshore Galveston via ship-to-ship transfer from four Aframaxes. If you were relying on soft data, all you knew was that the originating tankers loaded twice from Corpus Christi, once from Beaumont, and once from Freeport. So that’s about 1m bbls of Eagle Ford, 500k bbls of US crude, and 500k bbls of either US or Canadian crude (the Freeport loading was from the Seaway Terminal, which loads Canadian crude as well as US crude).
Thanks to its hard-data sources, ClipperData knew that part of the Eagle Ford loading was actually condensate, and that the rest of the barrels were a combination of Bakken and DJ Common – no Canadian barrels there. We also knew the exact quantities, and the shippers who had combined to build the cargo: Mercuria, Total, Statoil (now Equinor), and Trafigura.
Trusted by the Top Ten
ClipperData invented this space – previously handled by in-house teams of analysts at the houses that trade energy. With a five-year head start on our competitors, we have spent more time testing, refining and perfecting our craft.
We took a bet on the value of hard data in an ever-complex, ever-changing trading environment, and we locked up the best-of-breed providers of that insight. We use that hard-data overlay every day, to teach our models, to re-examine history, and to override standard assumptions.
All oil supermajors and super merchant traders rely on ClipperData
It’s no coincidence that you don’t see these heavy hitters jumping at the latest new whiz-bang screen being offered at half-price in the marketplace. They know what it takes to do the hard yards on the hard data and grind out results that correlate with reality. And they know it can’t be done for half the price.
So if you want to see what the big guys are seeing, you need to look at Clipper. Because everything else is just a shiny new toy.
ClipperData’s best-in-class cargo map tracks real-time vessel movements across the globe.
Users can view a vessel’s status, type and class, AIS position details, and learn its likely destination and ETA. ClipperData customers can also view detailed cargo data, including hard-data breakdowns of grade and volume.
New features include real-time and historical weather patterns, zone entry and exit alerts, emission control areas, and animated voyage replays.