1. Indian Oil Demand Is Firing on All Cylinders
Brushing aside Omicron concerns, Indian downstream players have been ramping up refinery runs and are close to running at 100% (with private refiners already at full capacity).
According to S&P Global Platts, Indian refinery runs will increase by 370,000 b/d next year to a total of 5.2 million b/d, the first time India’s annual increments will overtake that of China.
Indian crude imports have risen to 4.31 million b/d last month, the highest they have been since March, with Middle Eastern producers accounting for roughly 75% of supplies.
With West-to-East arbitrage improving amid a strengthening Dubai complex, Indian refiners should see an inflow of crudes coming from the Atlantic Basin in the upcoming weeks.
2. US LNG Exports to Hit All-Time High This Month
US LNG exports are set to hit a new all-time high on the back of increasing gas production, reaching at least 6.7 million tonnes of LNG this month, according to vessel fixture data.
With US gas prices still relatively low (Henry Hub front-month futures remain below $4 per mmBtu) gas firms are incentivized to send their volumes abroad where the prices are manifold higher.
Europe has become the largest buyer of US LNG last month, seeing monthly departures total 2.85 million tonnes LNG, a trend that should only fortify with TTF prices swinging above spot Asian LNG prices.