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Nigerian Ports Record Mixed Performance as Vessel Traffic Decline 2.3% in Q1

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  • Nigerian Ports Record Mixed Performance as Vessel Traffic Decline 2.3% in Q1

Despite efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to ensure the nation’s ports run efficiently, Nigerian ports recorded mixed fortunes in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.

Performance report released by the NPA during the Nigerian Port Consultative Council (PCC) quarterly meeting held in Lagos revealed that the number of vessels which called at the ports during the period shrunk by 2.3 per cent.

However, there was an improvement in the turn-around time of vessels. This increase, according to the report, was because of concerted efforts of the management of NPA to improvement on port infrastructure and implementation of federal government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business.

Analysis of the numbers showed that vessel traffic slumped from 1,008 vessels in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 985 vessels during the period under review, representing a decline of 2.3 per cent.

Gross tonnage of ship stood at 31,693,650 as against 32,598,477 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing a decline of 2.8 per cent.

In the same vein, container traffic in the Q1 of 2018 dropped. Further analysis of the statistics showed that within the period under review, container traffic stood at 387,016 Total Equivalent Unit (TEUs), indicating a decrease of 7.1 per cent from 416,806 TEUs handled by the same ports in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Also, vehicle traffic within the period under review dropped as a total of 37, 584 vehicles were handled by NPA within the period under review, representing a decrease of 13.2 per cent from 43,338 units received in the previous quarter.

Conversely, the ports recorded an impressive cargo throughput, recording 18,729,889 metric tons of goods in Q1 as against the 17,250,334 metric tons of cargo the seaports received in the fourth quarter of 2017, indicating an increase of 8.6 per cent.

The inward traffic stood at 10,617,318 metric tons, representing 56.7 per cent of cargo throughput at the ports in the Q1 of 2018 while the outward cargo traffic was said to be 8,112,671 metric tons representing 46.3 per cent of the total cargo traffic.

However, the turn-around time of vessels stood at 3.8 days when compared with 4.1 days in fourth quarter of 2017 while berth occupancy rate was 32.8 per cent as against 33.8 per cent on fourth quarter 2017.

The Q1 2018 witnessed a significant growth in cargo traffic when compared with fourth quarter of 2017, however, there was a decrease of 2.3 per cent in the number of ships that call to the ports but the corresponding cargo traffic increased by 2.3 per cent due to increase in export cargoes especially LNG shipment and agricultural products.

Meanwhile, stakeholders said the decline in the port performance may not be unconnected to the poor port access roads, security challenges and some government’s policies which are not considered friendly to boost vessels traffic.

The NPA had in a bid to ensure efficiency at the port axed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and others who were affected in the executive order from the ports across the country.

The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting comprising the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), operators and major stakeholders in the port.

She listed the NPA as the landlord, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Police, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Port Health Authority (PHA) as the only agencies approved to operate in the ports.

“These are the seven agencies that are mandated and have approval to operate in the port, any agency that is operating in the port outside of these agencies are not required to and they should be aware that they need to vacate whatever location they are currently having within the port because the current approval and provision provides that they are not to operate in the port,” she said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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