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印度原油进口乏力

2019-08-14     来源: 中国石化新闻网
石化新闻

中国石化新闻网讯 据路透社8月12日报道,近几个月来,印度的原油进口一直停滞不前,但该国能源行业的问题更为严重,其煤炭和液化天然气(LNG)也较为疲软。

Refinitiv编制的船舶和港口数据显示,仅次于中国的亚洲第二大原油进口国印度,其7月份的原油日进口量为399万桶。这低于6月的403万桶/天,仅略高于5月的391万桶/天。自2017年8月创纪录的375万桶/天以来,这三个月是印度原油进口最疲弱的一个月。

近期原油进口疲软的部分原因可能是:美国5月初之后没有延长对伊朗原油买家的豁免,印度炼油商开始调整对伊朗的石油进口。这种解释在5月和6月均适用,但在7月就不那么适用了,因为印度进口商已经有了充足的时间做出其它安排。

Refinitiv数据显示,今年印度前七个月的原油进口量为每日417万桶,低于去年同期的440万桶。原油进口的下降确实与印度经济增长放缓相吻合,1—3月份印度GDP增速放缓至5.8%,为四年多来的最低水平。

第二季度的数据仍待公布,但政府预测,在截至2020年3月底的财政年度,GDP增速将加快至7%。然而,分析人士对这一目标表示怀疑,尤其是在预算对刺激经济和提高税收作用不大之后。Refinitiv数据显示,与原油类似,进口疲弱在很大程度上反映在煤炭上,继6月疲软后,7月的煤炭进口量为1450万吨,为1月以来最低水平。

今年前7个月,印度进口了1.226亿吨煤炭,高于去年同期的1.125亿吨。进口仍在积极领域的原因是3月至5月的三个月表现强劲,恰巧与印度国有煤炭生产商在运输其产出方面遇到困难的时期相吻合。

值得注意的是,近几个月来,印度从主要供应国印度尼西亚的进口量大幅下降,从4月份的1,010万吨降至7月份的510万吨。考虑到印度几乎完全从印尼购买煤炭用于发电,这表明印度国内的煤炭供应有所改善,或许还表明电力需求增长一直乏力。

重要的是,原油和煤炭进口均在价格下跌的同时出现下滑,布伦特原油从今年4月24日每桶74.57美元的收盘高点下跌近20%,至6月12日的低点59.97美元,大部分货物6月和7月交付时间段是固定的。

煤炭价格当时也在下滑,据大宗商品价格报告机构Argus评估,印尼每公斤煤炭热量为4200千卡,从5月10日当周的每吨39.15美元,跌至6月中旬的每吨35.84美元。

液化天然气的动态略有不同,但也不能说明印度对其产品的强劲需求。截至7月底,液化天然气进口有所增加,但这是在年初表现疲弱之后。2019年前7个月,液化天然气进口量为1250万吨,仅略高于去年同期的1240万吨。5月至7月进口增加的同时,超冷燃料的现货价格也降至三年来的最低水平,6月初达到每百万英热4.25美元,不到2018-2019年度北方冬季峰值的一半。这可能表明,与煤炭和原油不同,印度的液化天然气需求一直对价格走弱做出了反应。

总的来说,印度今年以来迄今对进口能源的需求令人失望,这对政府重新启动经济增长的预测来说不是好兆头。印度本财年第一季度的原油和天然气产量有所下降,进一步增加了印度对进口以满足能源需求的依赖。今年第一季度,印度原油产量同比下降6.8%,至820万吨,天然气产量同比下降0.5%,至80.3亿立方米。这使得印度对石油的进口依赖度从去年第四季度的83.8%升至85.2%。天然气则从48.7%升至50.4%。

王佳晶 摘译自 路透社

原文如下:

India’s crude oil imports are lacklustre, joining coal, LNG

India’s imports of crude oil have stalled in recent months, but the malaise in the country’s energy sector is deeper, with both coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) also soft.

India, Asia’s second-biggest crude importer behind China, brought in 3.99 million barrels per day in July, according to vessel and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

This was weaker than June’s 4.03 million bpd and only just ahead of May’s 3.91 million bpd.

These three months have been the weakest for India’s crude imports since the 3.75 million bpd recorded in August 2017.

Some of the recent softness in crude oil imports could be attributed to Indian refiners adjusting to the loss of cargoes from Iran, after the United States didn’t extend waivers to buyers of Iranian crude beyond the beginning of May.

This explanation would work for May and June, but not so much for July, given that Indian importers would have had plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.

Crude oil imports for the first seven months of the year were 4.17 million bpd, according to Refinitiv, down from 4.4 million for the same period last year.

This decline in crude imports does tally with weaker economic growth in India, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowing to 5.8% in the January to March period, the weakest rate in more than four years.

Data for the second quarter still has to be released, but the government forecast that GDP growth will accelerate back to 7% for the fiscal year to the end of March 2020.

However, analysts have expressed doubts over the target, especially after the budget did little to boost stimulus and raised taxes.

The recent weakness in crude oil imports has largely been mirrored in coal, with July’s inbound shipments of 14.5 million tonnes the lowest since January, according to Refinitiv data.

Similar to crude, coal imports have struggled in recent months, with July’s 14.5 million tonnes following a soft June, when 16.4 million tonnes were brought in. July was also the lowest month total since January.

In the first seven months of the year, India imported 122.6 million tonnes of coal, up from 112.5 million in the same period last year.

The reason the year to date imports are still in positive territory is three strong months from March to May, which happened to coincide with state-owned producer Coal India encountering difficulties in transporting its output.

It’s also worth noting that India’s imports from top supplier Indonesia have slumped in recent months, going from 10.1 million tonnes in April to just 5.1 million in July.

Given that India buys almost exclusively thermal coal for power plants from Indonesia, this suggests that the availability of domestic coal has improved, and perhaps also that electricity demand growth has been lacklustre.

Importantly, the decline in both crude and coal imports came even as the prices were falling, with Brent crude dropping almost 20% from a closing peak so far this year of $74.57 a barrel on April 24 to a low of $59.97 on June 12, the time period when most of the cargoes for June and July delivery would have been fixed.

Coal prices were also sliding at the time, with Indonesian 4,200 kilocalorie per kilogramme coal, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, dropping from $39.15 a tonne in the week to May 10 to $35.84 by mid-June.

The dynamics for LNG are slightly different, but also don’t really speak to strong Indian demand for energy products.

LNG imports have risen for the past three months to end July, but this came after a weak start to the year.

For the first seven months of 2019, LNG imports were 12.5 million tonnes, barely up from the 12.4 million tonnes for the same period last year.

The tick-up in imports from May to July also coincided with spot prices for the super-chilled fuel dropping to the lowest in three years, reaching $4.25 per million British thermal units in early June, less than half of the peak during the northern winter of 2018/19.

This may suggest that unlike coal and crude, India’s LNG demand has been responsive to weaker prices.

Overall, the story that emerges is that India’s demand for imported energy so far this year has disappointed, which doesn’t bode well for the government’s forecast of reigniting economic growth.

India’s crude oil and gas output has declined in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, further increasing India’s dependence on imports to meet its energy needs.

Crude oil output fell 6.8% to 8.2 million metric tonnes (MMT) while gas slipped 0.5% to 8.03 billion cubic meters (BCM) in the first quarter from a year earlier. This raised India’s import dependence in oil to 85.2% from 83.8% in the yearago quarter. In gas, it increased to 50.4% from 48.7%.

 

 
 
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