The decision by 52% of the voters in the EU referendum last week to vote to leave the EU has had far-reaching impact across the globe. The oil and gas sector, bruised from nearly two years of low oil prices, is bracing itself for the fall out.
The immediate impact of the referendum outcome was a plunge in the value of the pound to a thirty-year low of $1.34, significant falls in all of the world’s stock exchanges and the price of Brent tumbling 5% to $48/bbl.
The greatest risk to the energy industry is surely a global economic slowdown, which would suppress oil prices for longer and delay investment in exploration and production. In the short-term, however, UK-listed oil companies such as Shell, BP and Tullow have fared (comparatively) well since the decision was announced – with a large proportion of dollar-denominated revenue from abroad the devaluation of Sterling actually benefits these companies and they will see in a boost in reported revenues as a result. The end-user at the pump in the UK will, of course, see the opposite effect for the same reason – we import a significant proportion of the oil we consume and prices will rise as a result of the exchange rate movement.
For now, we are left with a perception of risk generated by uncertainty over what ‘Brexit’ actually means. The negotiations on our exit are yet to happen and the timetable and extent of the UK withdrawal are yet to be seen. The Prime Minister has made it clear he will not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon convention himself and will leave it for the next leader. Despite the outcome of the vote it remains entirely possible that the government (largely pro-Europe) will deliver a ‘Brexit-lite’ outcome or even no Brexit at all.
Steve Robertson, Research Director, Douglas-Westwood
+44 (0)1795 594734 or [email protected]
Something interesting to share?
Join NrgEdge and create your own NrgBuzz today
Asset Works FleetFocus fleet management software is a powerful solution designed to help asset- and infrastructure-intensive organizations control costs and streamline operations. By tracking vehicle location and maintenance history, fleet managers can extend the useful life of their fleet and prevent costly downtime. With preventive maintenance scheduling, work order and labor tracking, and parts and inventory tracking, FleetFocus helps fleet managers maximize efficiency while minimizing expenses. As a result, Asset Works fleet management solutions deliver industry-leading value for fleet managers around the world.
Support: [email protected]
It is important to know where to gun parts from. There are many places you can buy them from, but it is important to choose the right place so that you get the best quality and service. There are many places where you can buy gun parts from. You can buy them from gun stores, online retailers, and even at a flea market.
One of the best places to buy gun parts from is Always Armed.They have a wide range of products available, they offer great customer service, and they have convenient shipping options.
Buying gun parts can be a difficult task. There are many different types of firearms and there is a huge variety of gun parts. The right place to buy gun parts depends on what you are looking for and what kind of firearm you have.
If you are looking for a specific part, then your best bet is to search online. You can find the part that you need at an affordable price and it will be delivered right to your door. If you want to save time, then this is the best option for you. If not, then your local gun store might be the best option for you because they have many different types of firearms as well as all kinds of other equipment that might come in handy for hunting or shooting sports.
When it comes to buying gun parts, you need to be very careful. There are a lot of scams out there and some companies just want to take your money and never send you the goods.
Supply chains are currently in crisis. They have been for a long time now, ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the way the world works. Stressed shipping networks and operational blockages – coupled with China’s insistence on a Covid-zero policy – means that cargo tanker rates are at an all-time high and that there just aren’t enough of them. McDonalds and KFCs in Asia are running out of French fries to sell, not because there aren’t enough potatoes in Idaho, but because there aren’t enough ships to deliver them to Japan or to Singapore from Los Angeles. The war in Ukraine has placed a particular emphasis on food supply chains by disrupting global wheat and sunflower oil supply chains and kicking off distressingly high levels of food price inflation across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It was against this backdrop that Indonesia announced a complete ban on palm oil exports. That nuclear option shocked the markets, set off a potential new supply chain crisis and has particular implications on future of crude oil pricing and biofuels in Asia.
A brief recap. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been grappling with food price inflation as consequence of Covid-19. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been attempting to control this through a combination of shielding its most vulnerable citizens through continued subsidies while attempting to optimise supply chains. Like most of Asia, Indonesia hasn’t been to control the market at all, because uncoordinated attempts across a wide spectrum of countries to achieve a similar level of individual protectionism is self-defeating.
Cooking oil is a major product of sensitive importance in Indonesia, and one that it is self-sufficient in as a result of its status as the world’s largest palm oil producer. So large is Indonesia in that regard that its excess palm oil production has been directed to increasingly higher biodiesel mandates, with a B40 mandate – diesel containing 40% of palm material – originally schedule for full implementation this year. But as palm oil prices started rising to all-time highs at the beginning of January, cooking oil started becoming scarcer in Indonesia. The government blamed hoarding and – wary of the Ramadan period and domestic unrest – implemented a Domestic Market Obligation on palm oil refineries, directing them to devote 20% of projected exports for domestic use. Increasingly stricter terms for the DMO continued over February and March, only for an abrupt U-turn in mid-March that removed the DMO completely. But as the war in Ukraine drove prices even further, Indonesia shocked the market by announcing an total ban on palm oil exports in late April. Chaotically, the ban was first clarified to be palm olein only (straight refining cooking oil), but then flip-flopped into a total ban of crude palm oil as well. Markets went haywire, prices jumped to historical highs and Indonesia’s trading partners reacted with alarm.
Joko Widodo has said that the ban will be indefinite until domestic cooking oil prices ‘moderate’. With the global situation as it is, ‘moderate’ is unlikely to be achieved until the end of 2022 at least, if ‘moderate’ is taken to be the previous level of palm oil prices – roughly half of current pricing. Logistically, Indonesia cannot hold out on the ban for more than two months. Only a third of Indonesia’s monthly palm oil production is consumed domestically; the rest is exported. An indefinite ban means that not only fill storage tanks up beyond capacity and estates forced to let fruit rot, but Indonesia will be missing out on crucial revenue from its crude palm oil export tax. Which is used to fund its biodiesel subsidies.
And that’s where the implications on oil come in. Indonesia’s ham-fisted attempt at protectionism has dire implications on biofuels policies in Asia. Palm oil prices within Indonesia might sink as long as surplus volumes can’t make it beyond the borders, but international palm oil prices will remain high as consuming countries pivot to producers like Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, West Africa and Latin America. That in turn, threatens the biodiesel mandates in Thailand and Malaysia. The Thai government has already expressed concern over palm-led food price inflation and associated pressure on its (subsidised) biodiesel programme, launching efforts to mitigate the worst effects. Malaysia – which has a more direct approach to subsidised fuels – is also feeling the pinch. Thailand’s move to B10 and Malaysia’s move to B20 is now in jeopardy; in fact, Thailand has regressed its national mandate from B7 to B5. And the reason is that the differential between the bio- and the diesel portion of the biodiesel is now so disparate that subsidy regimes break down. It would be far cheaper – for the government, the tax-payers and consumers – to use straight diesel instead of biodiesel, as evidenced by Thailand’s reversal in mandates.
That, in turn, has implications on crude pricing. While OPEC+ is stubbornly sticking to its gentle approach to managing global crude supply, the stunning rebound in Asian demand has already kept the consumption side tight to match that supply. Crude prices above US$100/b are a recipe for demand destruction, and Asian economies have been preparing for this by looking at alternatives; biofuels for example. In the past four years, Indonesia has converted some of its oil refineries into biodiesel plants; in China, stricter crude import quotas are paving the way for China to clamp down on its status of a fuels exporter in favour of self-sustainability. But what happens when crude prices are high, but the prices of alternatives are higher? That is the case for palm oil now, where the gasoil-palm spread is now triple the previous average.
Part of this situation is due to market dynamics. Part of it is due to geopolitical effects. But part of it is also due to Indonesia’s knee-jerk reaction. Supply disruption at the level of a blanket ban is always seismic and kicks off a chain of unintended consequences; see the OPEC oil shocks of the 70s. Indonesia’s palm oil export ban is almost at that level. ‘Indefinite’ is a vague term and offers no consolation to markets looking for direction. Damage will be done, even if the ban lasts a month. But the longer it lasts – Indonesian general elections are due in February 2024 – the more serious the consequences could be. And the more the oil and refining industry in Asia will have to think about their preconceived notions of the future of oil in the region.
End of Article
Learn more about this course