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Global Market Outlook

Firmer raw material prices give support to some finished steel markets

May 22, 2015 (04:37)

Mark Wiggett, editor for Platts Global Market Outlook, assesses key developments in the global steel and raw material markets during April and early May.

News Headlines

China data: Apr crude imports from Mideast rise to record 4 million b/d
Singapore (Platts)--25 May 2015 528 am EDT/928 GMT
China's April imports of crude oil from Middle East suppliers rose 10% year on year to a record high of 16.61 million mt or 4.06 million b/d, led by Saudi Arabian supply, according to detailed data released Saturday by the General Administration of Customs.
China's April styrene monomer imports from US triple on month amid lack of S Korean supply
Singapore (Platts)--25 May 2015 512 am EDT/912 GMT
China's styrene monomer imports from the US almost tripled in April, amid major turnarounds taking place in South Korea -- China's main supplier -- over March-May, trade sources said Monday, May 25.
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News Feature: Crude oil market outlook

May 20, 2015
The North Sea crude oil market showed mixed signals May 15, with Dated Brent versus second-month cash up $0.21/barrel at minus $0.94/b, even as Forties came off a touch.
Also in this feature
Steady buying seen in Middle East sour crude market
The Middle East sour crude market continued to see steady buying for medium-sour grades amid concerns over supply in Asia May 15.
Lower demand for light sweet crude pressures LHS differential
A week-on-week decrease in buying interest for light sweet crude in the US Gulf Coast following a string of planned and unplanned refinery issues resulted in a lower differential for Light Houston Sweet.

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The Barrel Blog

May 25, 2015
Nigeria and Angola are the two biggest producers in in West Africa, but the crudes from these two countries have treaded divergent paths.
May 22, 2015
Pope Francis is set to weigh in on the climate change debate in what has already caused a considerable buzz, even before the message has been released.
May 22, 2015
International weather agencies are now identifying the signs of the first El Niño conditions since 2010.
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Price Focus

The physical 3.5 FOB Rotterdam barge market trended higher at the prompt February 27, with RMG material leaving Europe for arbitrage destinations, traders said. "The market is getting tighter for RMG...we expect stronger pricing for barges in March," one said. At the same time, supply was sufficient for cracked fuel oil, with a lot of straight run and M-100 being blended into the finished grade pool, albeit at relatively high costs, sources said.


Gasoline taxes helping to drive up demand for hydrous ethanol in Brazil
May 21, 2015 - Demand for hydrous ethanol in Brazil is booming, with the biofuel becoming more competitive than gasoline and bouncing back to demand levels on par with December 2009.
China's slowing economy 'zombifies' its steel industry, as optimism creeps into US scrap
May 21, 2015 - Platts steel editors look at the economically challenging global landscape for metals, and explain how raw materials are impacting pricing and the outlook for finished steel goods.
Higher gas demand taking some pressure off well-supplied North American markets
May 20, 2015 - Pipeline maintenance and an uptick in gas-fired power generation are supporting price movements in North American spot and forwards natural gas markets.
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Americas Refined Oil ProductsPublished January 2015

The Americas Refined Oil Products Guide contains the primary specifications and methodologies for Platts American Products assessments.

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