Coastline tanker "Saigang" International oil merchants are in trouble

January 13, 2021

Abstract Congested not only the main roads of first-tier cities, but also the coastline of China at this time. Wandering is not only for the "North drift", "Shanghai drift" and "Hang drift" for the ideal struggle in the foreign land, but also large oil tankers from far away West Africa, South America and other places. According to the online real-time monitoring of the ship schedule, the current...

Congested not only the main roads of the first-tier cities, but also the coastline of China at this time.

Wandering is not only for the "North drift", "Shanghai drift" and "Hang drift" for the ideal struggle in the foreign land, but also large oil tankers from far away West Africa, South America and other places.

According to the on-line real-time monitoring of the ship's schedule, the current coastal areas of Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Zhoushan and the ports of Kaohsiung in Taiwan, China, have oil tankers with congestion, a large number of ships with zero speed and full load.

This shows that these tankers are anchoring at sea and waiting in line to unload. Among them, the VLCC "New Frontier" carrying Angolan crude oil and the VLCC "New Prosperity" carrying Iraqi crude oil have been waiting at sea since the beginning of March, and it has been more than a month since it was called "sea drift". .

“Traders overestimate demand,” said Michal Meidan, an Asian analyst at energy consultancy Energy Aspects. “The tax rate adjustments and the rise in oil prices have squeezed the profit margins of teapot refineries. Unless these shipments are substantially discounted, Otherwise the tea refinery may let these tankers continue to float for a while."

Ships and cargoes come from afar, but they become "sea drift"

According to Reuters and traders, there are currently about 19-20 ships waiting in line at the Chinese coastline for unloading, usually around 10 ships. Reuters found that most of the oil on the ship came from West Africa, especially in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo, as well as cargo from Brazil, the Middle East and the North Sea.

According to data from oil analysis company Vortexa, short-term floating storage in Asia averaged about 15 million barrels in March, the highest monthly level since October 2017. The short-term storage scale peaked this month, reaching 22 million barrels. The so-called short-term floating storage, Vortexa is defined as oil left on the ship for 7-30 days.

These vessels are mainly concentrated in the coastal ports of Shandong, because Shandong is the base of refineries in most localities. These local refineries are internationally known as “Teapot” because of their small size, low processing capacity and lack of subsequent deep processing.

Despite being called the “teapot refinery”, these small and medium-sized local refineries have become an indispensable force in the refining industry. According to the data of the first futures, in 2017, the total refinery capacity of local refineries in China reached 272 million tons, accounting for 31.41% of the refinery capacity of the national refinery, a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2016. Among them, Shandong is the region with the largest number of local refineries and the most densely distributed areas, accounting for 63.73% of the total production capacity of the country. Therefore, there is a saying in the market that "China is refining and looking at Shandong."

"International oil dealers and oil-producing countries attach great importance to independent refineries, and the oil supply countries are intensifying their battles for the business opportunities of China's independent refineries. The teapot refinery has become a place where "the military is competing." Comments.

The market generally believes that oil exporting countries, especially those in West Africa, are selling hard, resulting in a large number of cargoes being sold to the Chinese market. Even if there are already signs that the demand for PetroChina may be weak in the early days, these countries still send tankers to the region, which is an important reason for the short-term pressure on Hong Kong.

Yang Xia, an analyst at Zhuo Chuang Information, said: “At present, some refineries have entered the overhaul, resulting in an overall decline in the starting load, which in turn has curbed demand for crude oil. As of the end of March, the average starting load of an atmospheric and vacuum decompression device in Shandong was 65.89%, compared with 3 At the beginning of the month, it fell by about 3 percentage points."

Zhang Liucheng, vice president of Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, said that the storage facilities in Shandong have exceeded the upper limit, and the pipeline bottleneck is still a big problem.

Oil traders forced to "sea drift" are caught in a dilemma: if they do not cut prices, the backlog of cargo will constrain their ability to book new goods; if they cut prices, they are worried about a chain-down in international oil prices.

A West African crude oil seller said: "This is pushing us out of the game. For us, this is a market that is in a dead end."

Buyer market teapot refinery grasps the right to speak

The development of the port is not balanced. There is a situation in which “the big port can't eat and the small port can't eat enough”, which is one of the important reasons for the current port pressure in Shandong.

“In Shandong, for example, Shandong’s crude oil port is dominated by Qingdao, with Rizhao and Yantai ports as two wings, and Dongying and Weifang ports as complementary patterns. The development between ports is seriously unbalanced and resource utilization is low. Over-reliance on several large ports makes its limited berths and loading and unloading capacity full, while the small ports are relatively quiet," said Yang Xia.

In addition, Yang Xia said that the closure of the route and the weather factors are also one of the incentives. For example, due to heavy fog, especially Shanghai Port is the strongest fog in the past ten years. Recently, the entire Yangtze River estuary has been closed, and the anchorage of the Yangtze River estuary is also densely packed with waiting ships.

“Port congestion is not a common phenomenon, but a special case. The general freighter’s freight rate is high, and the delayed unloading caused by the ship’s ship will generate high demurrage fees. Therefore, the port and shipping company will usually coordinate. Good ships to leave the port to avoid similar ship-breaking incidents." Yang Xia said.

However, in 2016, Qingdao Port experienced a more serious "oil tanker port" phenomenon, which led to a three-fold increase in the number of days of delayed shipments of Qingdao Port tankers, reaching 20-30 days.

In February 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the “Notice on Issues Concerning the Administration of Imported Crude Oil Uses”, which first introduced the application conditions for the qualifications of imported crude oil used by local refineries. Many local refineries applied for and obtained the “double rights” of imported crude oil. That is, the right to use and import of imported crude oil. In 2015, a total of 6 local refineries received an import quota of 34.74 million tons.

The refinery that obtained the crude oil import quota was responsible for signing a large number of low-priced crude oil orders in 2016. The sharp outbreak of demand has become the main reason for the phenomenon of tanker congestion in the first half of 2016.

According to historical data, in March 2016, Qingdao Port crude oil imports amounted to 9.86 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 9.92%, a year-on-year increase of 91.8%, a record high, and the proportion of crude oil imports in the country increased to about 30%.

Crude oil suppliers from all over the world began to notice that China's teapot refineries are vying for the high ground.

Jin Xiao, an analyst at Dongzheng Futures, said that the domestic crude oil market buyer's market characteristics are very obvious. Some national oil companies and crude oil traders have sold their crude oil products to local refineries. The buyer's market has led to a decline in the voice of traders. Many of them have accumulated rich experience in crude oil procurement in the international market in the two years since the import of crude oil and the right to use imported crude oil. There are many direct oilfields and national oil companies. Purchase.

The prospect of large-scale refining quotas is still strong

With the continuous flow of international tanker supplies to China, the phenomenon of “Saigang” has recurred, and the market is worried: Will this limit China’s subsequent import prospects?

"Recently, there are many reasons for domestic port tankers to stay in Hong Kong, including the centralized maintenance of domestic refineries to curb demand for crude oil, the concentration of crude oil exporting countries to seize the Chinese market, the shortage of port stocks and sudden weather factors, most of which are short-term factors. It will not affect the long-term demand and import of domestic crude oil," said Fang Xiaoying, a analyst of Founder's medium-term futures.

Pan Xiang, an analyst at Huatai Futures, said that the recent problem of Shandong's oil tanker demurrage has once again attracted attention. This may not be a problem caused by demand, because the operating rates of 32 major Shandong refineries announced by Zhuo Chuang or Longzhong are still maintained at 60%. The above-mentioned high position is more likely because the previous tanker is concentrated in the port and the delivery warehouse is used to clean up the tank capacity. “The main impact is the oil adjustment link, which has limited impact on the refinery that operates in compliance, but it does not rule out that future independent refineries may re-import fuel oil as raw material.”

The data shows that the Ministry of Commerce issued the first batch of crude oil non-state-owned trade import quotas of 120 million tons in 2018, accounting for 85% of the total annual quota, of which 32 local refineries received 90.45 million tons.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Commerce has released crude oil import quotas to local refineries for the first time, and has since increased year by year. Among them, a total of 6 local refineries received an import quota of 34.74 million tons in 2015. In 2016, a total of 12 local refineries received an import quota of 49.29 million. Tons; in 2017, a total of 19 local refineries received an import quota of 58.84 million tons.

“Once the refinery receives the crude oil import quota, the operating rate is difficult to adjust flexibly. Because the Ministry of Commerce will adjust the quota for the second year according to the quota of the first year, the completion of the situation may be reduced or even cancelled.” Wind Securities analyst Zhang Wei said that the quotas obtained by the local refineries cannot be used. If not, the quotas for the second year should be reduced.

Yan Xiaoying said that China's crude oil imports in the first two months of this year increased by 11% year-on-year. However, the recent shortage of oil tankers has not affected the volume of imported crude oil. In 2018, China's non-state-owned crude oil imports are allowed to be heavy. Most of the proportion, combined with future expansion plans for domestic refining capacity, is expected to continue to increase domestic crude oil imports in the future.

Yang Xia said that in the long run, domestic crude oil demand will show an increasing trend. According to Zhuo Chuang statistics, by 2022, China will have more than 200 million tons of expansion and preparation plans, and the demand for crude oil in China will continue to rise sharply in the future. In addition, China's crude oil production is suffering from hardware and oil prices, etc., it is difficult to continue to increase production momentum. Therefore, the future demand for crude oil in China will continue to increase.

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