Asian oil refiners’ sweet tooth drives changes in purchases

Asian refiners are buying more light crude. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2019

Asian oil refiners’ sweet tooth drives changes in purchases

  • Refiners have been building secondary units that can further process the residual fuel oil from initial refining of heavy oils into gasoline and diesel

SINGAPORE: Asian refiners are buying more light crude and trimming purchases of heavy oil, as they tweak production to meet demand for low-sulfur shipping fuels.

Asia’s demand for light, low sulfur crude grades, known as sweet crude, produced by countries such as the US, UAE, Brazil and Nigeria has strengthened after the price gap between light and heavy crude narrowed amid record US shale production and heavy oil scarcity.

“The traded crude slate is getting lighter and sweeter. At the same time, expansion of the refining system is geared toward heavier crude,” Vitol’s Global Head of Research Giovanni Serio said at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference.

Refiners have been building secondary units that can further process the residual fuel oil from initial refining of heavy oils into gasoline and diesel. The global shift toward lower sulfur fuel for ships from January was supposed to lower heavy, high-sulfur crude prices  but that has not happened.

Instead, US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and production quotas set by the OPEC have tightened heavy oil supply.

Strong heavy crude prices have reduced the margins for secondary units, prompting refiners to trim output and process more light oil to produce low-sulfur fuel oil or marine gasoil to meet International Maritime Organization specifications.


Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

Updated 15 September 2019

Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

  • One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange

CAIRO: Egypt expects two state companies and one private pharmaceuticals firm worth more than $61.3 million, or one billion Egyptian pounds, to make share offerings by the end of the year, an official at the Financial Regulatory Authority said on Sunday.
One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange, which specializes in small and medium sized enterprises, said Sayed Abdel Fadeel, head of the authority’s corporate finance department. He did not name the companies.
Egypt promised to sell minority stakes in several state companies in late 2018 but postponed the offerings following emerging market turbulence.