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Texas Natural Gas Demand Surges

1. Buoyed by SPR Replenishment, US Sour Grades Roar Back to Strength

- The end of US SPR releases and firm demand from Gulf Coast refineries have strengthened the differentials of medium sour grade Mars, gaining some $6 per barrel since the start of the year.

- With Mars currently trading at a $0.30 per barrel premium to WTI, the region’s main benchmark, it has almost closed the gap with the USGC favorite Light Louisiana Sweet.

- US gasoline demand figures have been consistently above 2022 readings, averaging between 9.2 and 9.3 million b/d, boosting the need for medium-density grades such as Mars.

- Even though Mars production was boosted by Shell’s Vito platform starting up in February, the US refining system is buying all the volumes that it can – in both April and May there was only cargo of Mars exported abroad.

2. Shunned by Europe, Asia Remains Coal Exporters’ Only Hope

- Asian coal prices plunged to their lowest in two years as falling LNG prices have outweighed strong demand for King Coal, with Australian 5,500 kcal/kg coal now trading at $84-85 per tonne.

- High energy content grades of coal, such as Australia’s Newcastle benchmark, have seen the biggest price decline as they are the most exposed to LNG replacement in Japan and South Korea, with Indonesia’s lower calorific value prices suffering less.

- Amidst waning regional demand, coal stockpiles in Europe’s…

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