Oil Updates — Crude falls by nearly $5; China’s July refinery output drops to over 2-year low; Singapore marine fuel sales rebound

Update Oil Updates — Crude falls by nearly $5; China’s July refinery output drops to over 2-year low; Singapore marine fuel sales rebound
China’s refinery crude throughput fell last month to its lowest since March 2020. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 August 2022

Oil Updates — Crude falls by nearly $5; China’s July refinery output drops to over 2-year low; Singapore marine fuel sales rebound

Oil Updates — Crude falls by nearly $5; China’s July refinery output drops to over 2-year low; Singapore marine fuel sales rebound

RIYADH: Oil prices fell by nearly $5 a barrel on Monday on demand fears as disappointing Chinese economic data renewed global recession concerns.

Brent crude futures were down 5.28 percent, to $92.94 a barrel at 04.05 p.m Saudi time.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 5.46 percent, at $87.06.

July refinery output in China drops to over 2-year low on plant outages

China’s refinery crude throughput fell last month to its lowest since March 2020 as several state refiners underwent unplanned shutdowns and their independent peers trimmed production in response to thinning margins.

Refiners processed 53.21 million tons of crude oil in July, 8.8 percent less than a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

That is equivalent to 12.53 million barrels per day, the lowest daily rate since March 2020, and compared with 13.37 million bpd in June.

The weaker throughput in July extended a rare decline in China’s refinery processing seen in the first half of 2022 as strict COVID-19 lockdowns and fuel export controls curbed their production.

During the first seven months, refineries processed 380.27 million tons, down 6.3 percent from a year before and equal to about 13.09 million bpd.

Prolonged outages at large state-run refineries such as Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Corp’s 320,000-bpd crude facility and PetroChina Wepec’s 200,000-bpd plant weighed on national production.

Sinopec did not resume refining at some of the units at the Shanghai plant until last week, while the northeast Liaoning-based Wepec was not expected to resume operation until late August after nearly three months’ shutdown, said an industry source.

Singapore marine fuel sales rebound to 7-month high in July

Marine fuel sales in Singapore, the largest bunkering hub in the world, rose by 10 percent month-on-month to a seven-month high of 4.12 million tons in July, the latest data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore showed.

The uptick came amid a rise in vessel arrivals for bunkering, which climbed 8 percent month-on-month to 3,181 vessel calls in July. Bunker fuel prices were also lower in July versus June, amid softer upstream crude prices.

Sales for both low-sulfur fuel oil and high-sulfur fuel oil grades climbed from the previous month, the MPA data showed.

LSFO supplied to ships climbed by 7 percent month-on-month to 2.51 million tons in July, though the sales fell by 7 percent year-on-year.

Low-sulfur bunker fuel premiums were still elevated in the first half of July, at a time when cargo premiums rallied to record highs, before trending lower toward the end of the month.

Meanwhile, HSFO supplied to ships rose by 16 percent month-on-month to 1.27 million tons in July, and was 20 percent higher year on year.

(With input from Reuters)


Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

RIYADH: Saudi pharmaceutical firm Al Hilal Trading Co. has received the General Authority for Competition’s approval to acquire the assets of Etihadat Abyan Co..

Under the formal approval by the regulator, the acquired assets by Al Hilal Trading Co. include S Team and Mawj Al Hilal brands and the related four stores.

The deal will not significantly affect the sportswear market in the Kingdom, GAC said in a statement according to Argaam on Oct. 6. 

The intended acquisition will be done by transferring the assets to Al Hilal Trading Co., a subsidiary of Al Hilal Club Investment Co. 

Last August, the Tadawul-listed online food delivery platform Jahez International Co for Information Systems Technology, partnered with Al Hilal Investment to set up an online marketing and sales firm.


MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 
Updated 2 min 30 sec ago

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

RIYADH: Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region raised $173 million across 51 deals in September, marking a 54 percent decrease compared to the month before. 

Saudi Arabia’s logistics startup TruKKer was responsible for the bulk of that funding as it secured a $100 million pre-initial public offering round, according to Wamda.

The Kingdom raised a total of $114 million in startup funding in just six deals, while the UAE had 12 deals with a total of $27 million. 

Aside from Trukker’s fundraise, fintech companies managed to get the highest amount of funding with $28 million followed by food tech startups with $22 million. 

Foreign investment was high in September as US investors participated in 11 deals while UK investors were the second active with seven deals. 


TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell
Updated 45 min 59 sec ago

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index ended the last trading session of the week lower as investors kept a keen eye on the unstable oil prices this week.

The Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.11 percent to end Thursday at 11,757, while the parallel market Nomu finished almost flat at 20,223.

In the energy sector, Brent crude reached $93.22 per barrel, while WTI crude traded at $87.61 per barrel as of 3:14 p.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended the session with a 0.14 percent increase, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 1.21 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, dropped 0.77 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 2.31 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi fell 0.71 percent, while Alinma Bank shed 0.26 percent.

Despite leading Wednesday’s fallers, Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co. surged 9.81 percent, topping the market, after receiving the Capital Market Authority’s clearance to hike its capital by 700 percent.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. declined 2.87 percent to lead the fallers, closely followed by Riyad REIT Fund with a decline of 2.76 percent.


‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning
Updated 40 sec ago

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

RIYADH: The CEO of one of the region’s largest oil firms believes people in his position have a responsibility for energy security as he hit out at suggestions oil and gas production should be reduced.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, managing director and group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., insisted that firms such as his need to be “in the room” when energy transition plans are drawn up.

Al-Jaber, who also serves as the UAE’s minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, warned that pulling the plug on current energy systems before developing new ones is misguided, as abandoning oil and gas production could take a toll on energy security. 

“We have seen that all progress starts and ends with energy security. And, as the world’s energy leaders, our responsibility in maintaining that energy security has never been more evident,” said Al-Jaber. 

He added: “We must all commit to mitigating the impact of global energy supplies, but let’s keep our focus on capturing carbon, not canceling production. Let’s hold back emissions, not progress.” 

According to Al-Jaber, energy transition is the most complex and capital-intensive project in human history, and a partnership with the energy sector is necessary to ensure a successful transformation. 

“For the energy transition to succeed, the energy professionals need to be in the room, as equal partners alongside all other stakeholders,” he said. 

He further noted that substantial investments are required in hydrocarbons, the energy source the world will rely upon in the future.

Al-Jaber revealed that the UAE is open to working with partners to mitigate the impact of hydrocarbons on the climate and build on its expertise to emerge as a reliable energy leader with zero carbon emissions. 

He noted that ADNOC is making use of advanced technologies, along with renewable solar and nuclear energy to reduce the carbon intensity of its oil and gas by a further 25 percent by the end of this decade. 

Al-Jaber added that ADNOC will also expand the use of carbon capture and storage. 

Speaking at the same event on Oct 4, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, as the world has a flawed plan for the energy transition. 

During the speech, Nasser noted that alternatives to replace oil and gas are not ready yet and added that measures should be taken to decarbonize oil and gas, along with developing carbon capture and storage technology.  


Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report
Updated 06 October 2022

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

Digital payments soar in Saudi Arabia as preference for cash dips: report

 

RIYADH: Digital payment penetration is continuing its high growth in Saudi Arabia, as a report reveals more than one in ten Saudis spend money online at least once a day via e-commerce platforms.

According to global payment solutions provider Checkout.com’s report titled ‘Digital Transformation in MENA 2022’, Saudis who prefer cash for payments reduced from 27 percent in 2021 to 20 percent in 2022.

The report further noted that 91 percent of Saudi shoppers regularly buy from e-commerce platforms, and 14 percent of them shop at least once per day.

Some 78 percent of consumers in Saudi Arabia who took part in the survey said they will maintain or increase their current level of e-commerce spending into 2023.

The popularity of digital wallets is also steadily increasing in Saudi Arabia, as 26 percent of consumers consider these payment platforms the most preferred method for e-commerce, a near doubling of the figures from 2021.

Some 10 percent of the participants said that Buy Now Pay Later is their most preferred payment method for online shopping.

The report further added that consumers between the age of 25 and 45 have significantly less attachment to cash on delivery, while it is the youngest and oldest shoppers who rely on this payment method.

“The Kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East, with a mature retail sector and a relatively affluent, digitally savvy population that is moving in the direction of digital payments steadily,” said Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, senior vice president for MENA at Checkout.com.

He added: “The growing trust in online payments by shoppers means the digital transformation of the region’s retail sector is well underway.”

Saudi Arabia’s youth population has a growing affinity toward crypto currencies post the appointment of Mohsen AlZahrani by Saudi Arabia’s central bank to lead the Kingdom’s virtual assets and central digital currency program.

The report revealed that 44 percent of Saudis aged between 18 and 40 have held digital assets such as crypto, stablecoins and NFTs, while 54 percent of them would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months.