The Effects of the Coronavirus on Markets

The Effects of the Coronavirus on Markets

Here you can access the latest blog posts, podcasts and news as well as Argus’ assessment of how lockdowns, travel restrictions and the vaccine rollout are impacting trade flows.

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Latest related blog posts and podcast episodes

17 December 2020

From the Economist's Chair: Shifting policy priorities will drive China’s 2021 commodity demand

China’s imports of key commodities, totalling 2 billion tons and covering energy, agricultural products and metals, were up by a robust 7% year-on-year (y-o-y) during January-November 2020, with iron ore, soy, meat products and crude oil the strongest performers.

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Asia-Pacific English Agriculture Coal Crude oil Fertilizer LPG/NGL Metals Natural gas/LNG Petrochemicals

18 November 2020

The Crude Report: Freight loses some Covid-19 weight

After an unprecedented rise earlier this year thanks to a surge of floating storage demand, the weight of freight – freight's share of the delivered cost – has returned to the more typical 5pc - 10pc range for US-to-China shipments.

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Crude oil Freight & Transportation North America Asia-Pacific English

02 November 2020

From the Economist's Chair: US election fog could intensify crude’s roller coaster

Intra-day crude volatility has doubled since early-September, on renewed uncertainty over Opec+ intentions, recovering Libyan production, weakening oil demand amid resurgent Covid-19 and, not least, a fractious US Presidential and Senate election campaign, which may see...

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Crude oil North America English

26 October 2020

From the Economist’s Chair: Energy outlooks offer divergent paths for oil demand

The annual autumn glut of energy outlooks shows disparate potential global oil demand levels by 2040, with Covid-19’s aftermath now augmenting energy transition pathways as a source of uncertainty.

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Crude oil Global English Petrochemicals Freight & Transportation Africa Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America and Caribbean North America

07 October 2020

Malaysian palm oil at a crossroads

Malaysia’s freeze on cross-border hiring in response to Covid-19 has left oil palm estates grappling with a lack of hands during their peak harvesting season, and at a potential turning point in the industry’s labour dynamics.

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Bioenergy Asia-Pacific English

01 October 2020

The Covid Effect: Peak US energy dominance

Covid-19 has forced a drastic reappraisal of US shale oil growth prospects, amid an economic downturn that has complicated expectations for a presidential election next month that could have even longer-term implications for oil and gas, writes Haik Gugarats.

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Crude oil Oil products North America English

23 September 2020

The Covid Effect: Saudi Arabia checks its vision

The pandemic has dealt Riyadh a triple blow just as Saudi Arabia's de facto leader was trying to steer the country in a new and different direction, writes Samira Kawar.

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Crude oil Middle East English

23 September 2020

The Crude Report - Opec: 60 years and counting

It’s been 60 years since Opec was formed by founding members Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Venezuela.

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Crude oil Global English Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America and Caribbean Middle East North America

22 September 2020

Caribbean ammonia: Why are Trinidad prices lagging the international market?

It has been a challenging year for ammonia producers, with spot prices plummeting in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and industrial demand slashed across several key import regions.

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Fertilizer Latin America and Caribbean Russian

16 September 2020

Pandemic delays start of some minor metals contract negotiations

This is the time of year when the autumn conference season would normally be upon us and industry participants from all over the world would be congregating to mull over the year and to envision future supply-demand plans.

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Metals Global English Asia-Pacific Europe North America

16 September 2020

Market Talks: The jump in Brazil’s soybean imports amid the grain’s bumper crop

Increased soybean demand in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the country’s imports, despite Brazil achieving its highest ever soybean crop this year, narrowing the country’s trade balance in this commodity.

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Fertilizer Agriculture Latin America and Caribbean English Portuguese

15 September 2020

The Covid Effect: China’s long march to recovery

Beijing faces choices as it looks to revive the Chinese economy, including the degree to which its recovery will depend on oil, gas and coal, write Karen Teo and Tom Reed.

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Asia-Pacific Crude oil Oil products Coal Natural gas/LNG Power English

26 August 2020

Coal imports help Turkish economy in 1H20

Turkish coal imports resisted the economic slowdown driven by Covid-19, rising on the year in the first half of 2020, as a rare move by state-owned utility Euas to support independent coal-fired power plants bolstered demand.

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Coal Europe English

19 August 2020

Mexican oil caught between a hug and a hammer

Attacks on Mexico’s energy infrastructure have grown in recent months along with an overall increase in crime. This risks both the already troubled climate for private-sector investment and the government’s own drive to shore up state-owned Pemex.

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Crude oil Oil products Latin America and Caribbean English

10 August 2020

Covid-19 weighs on global coal burn in 1H

Coal consumption in key markets slipped during the first half of 2020 as a late recovery in China’s coal burn failed to offset weakness in the earlier periods of the year.

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Coal Asia-Pacific Europe English

23 July 2020

Market Talks: Outlook for Brazilian exports of poultry and pork meat

Brazilian exports of poultry and pork meat should increase in 2020 against last year, but the pressure exerted by the pandemic in the international trade of these products will have a significant impact on shipments.

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Fertilizer Latin America and Caribbean Portuguese

08 July 2020

Driving Discussions: How Covid-19 inverted the gasoline-naphtha spread

Welcome to the next episode in Driving Discussions, this time looking at how Covid-19 has turned the naphtha-gasoline relationship on its head.

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Oil products Freight & Transportation English Europe

08 July 2020

The Covid-19 impact on logistics in the west African fertilizer market

Welcome to the second episode of our Africa fertilizer knowledge series. In this podcast we discuss the logistical implications of Covid-19 on the west African fertilizer market supply chain.

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Africa Fertilizer English Webinars

30 June 2020

The Petcoke Podcast: Covid-19 impacts on Atlantic basin fuel coke demand

Welcome to The Petcoke Podcast, a new series discussing key developments for the global petroleum coke markets with expert industry participants.

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Oil products Global Europe North America English

30 June 2020

Asia polymers: Chinese demand removes surplus

Low feedstock costs have incentivised producers in Asia-Pacific to maximise polymers production despite weaker demand in this year’s second quarter. Heavy plant maintenance and a demand recovery in China have allowed producers in other regions to balance the demand drop...

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Petrochemicals Asia-Pacific English

24 June 2020

Big Oil grasps the nettle

Major oil companies are grappling with two huge problems – how to navigate their way through the demand and revenue slump triggered by the Covid-19 lockdown, and how to reposition their businesses for the longer term as the world moves towards a lower carbon future.

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Crude oil Oil products Natural gas/LNG Global English Asia-Pacific Europe Middle East Latin America and Caribbean North America

22 June 2020

From the Economist’s Chair: Paint It Bleak

As summer arrives and the world emerges from lock-down, hopes are high for gradual economic and oil demand recovery. Alongside reasonable levels of Opec+ discipline, this could help place a floor under crude prices. But whisper it quietly, a bleaker scenario also exists...

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Crude oil Global English Africa Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America and Caribbean Middle East North America

18 June 2020

Digitalisation of mining to weather future storms

Mining is no stranger to digitalisation. The widely held perception of the resources industry is one of workers in mines and not one of machines running almost everything.

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Metals Global English Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America and Caribbean Middle East North America

15 June 2020

African Fertilizer Knowledge Series: Assessing the impact of Covid-19 on west Africa fertilizer supply and demand

Welcome to the first episode of our Africa fertilizer knowledge series. In this podcast we discuss the supply/demand dynamics in western Africa with the West African Fertilizer Association.

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Fertilizer Africa

10 June 2020

Driving Discussions: Road to recovery (part 1)

The latest episode in our Driving Discussions series looks at signs of recovery we might expect over the coming weeks and months as countries re-evaluate lockdown policies.

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English Oil products

03 June 2020

Covid-19 sows uncertainty for fertilizer demand

Fertilizer could be the next commodity to fall victim to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the slump in demand for fuel — and biofuels — trickles down to the US corn crops used to produce ethanol.

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Fertilizer North America English

02 June 2020

Over 2mn t — the new China sulphur inventory norm?

China is unique when it comes to sulphur storage, as the key ports of Fangcheng, Beihai and Zhanjiang in the south of the country and the north China ports of Tangshan, Weifang, Zhenjiang and Nanjing have the capacity to hold in excess of 3mn t of sulphur.

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Fertilizer Asia-Pacific English

01 June 2020

Sizing up Covid-19 iron ore supply risks

The centre of the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting from Europe and the US to countries like India and Brazil, two of the four largest iron ore exporters in the world. Iron ore prices are rising as the focus moves to saving lives.

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Metals Global English Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America and Caribbean North America

27 May 2020

Bitumen no longer bottom

There have been few positives for refiners during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the strength of bitumen has offered some solace.

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Oil products Europe English

26 May 2020

Crude and jet fuel markets on the runway for price recovery

It may seem remote right now, but despite the recent unparalleled loss of global oil demand, economic forces will sooner or later conspire to rebalance the market as demand recovery takes hold and crude production in high-cost regions falls.

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Oil products Crude oil Global Africa Asia-Pacific Europe FSU Latin America and Caribbean Middle East North America English

26 May 2020

Covid-19 highlights unlocked potential of demand-side CO2 cuts

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disastrous impact on the lives and well-being of citizens across the world. Major economies have been temporarily shut down, while freedom of movement has virtually ground to a halt.

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Emissions Europe English

26 May 2020

Impact of IMO 2020 and Covid-19 on heavy products

Find out how the heavy products have reacted to the compound effect of IMO 2020 and Covid-19 in this latest Argus update.

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Global Oil products

18 May 2020

Driving Discussions: Balancing Russia's gasoline market in volatile times

Listen in to the latest Driving Discussions podcast, this time spotlighting the state of Russia's gasoline market in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

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FSU Oil products Freight & Transportation

18 May 2020

Covid-19 — questions from the sulphur market on the sulphur market

Listen in as Claira Lloyd answers questions from her most recent webinar on Covid-19's impact on the global sulphur market.

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Global Fertilizer

14 May 2020

A perfect storm for GCC steelmakers

The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the timing of the oil price collapse, could have created one of the most hostile steel markets for the GCC region ever.

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Metals Middle East English

14 May 2020

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asian bitumen markets | Episode 2

The impact of Covid-19 has been felt significantly in Asian bitumen markets in Asia. As countries shut borders and enforced lockdowns, road construction activity slowed and then completely halted.

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Oil products Asia-Pacific English

14 May 2020

French nuclear crisis: Will history repeat itself?

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted most aspects of life, and French power plant maintenance schedules are no exception. Could the French power market be about to experience its most challenging winter since 2016-17?

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Power Europe English

13 May 2020

Driving Discussions: The Impact of Covid-19 on European fuel markets and refineries (part 2)

The Driving Discussions series returns to Europe to examine the changes in Covid-19's impact on refineries with a special focus on utilisation rates.

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Europe English Oil products

05 May 2020

Covid-19 crushes global power demand and coal consumption in April

Global coal demand was dealt a significant blow in April, as restrictions in many countries to curb the spread of Covid-19 slashed power demand and weighed heavily on industrial output.

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Coal Asia-Pacific Europe English

29 April 2020

Podcast - Driving Discussions: The impact of Covid-19 on European biofuels markets and HVO

Join the latest Driving Discussions podcast for coverage of the European HVO and biofuel markets amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

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English Europe Bioenergy Oil products

23 April 2020

Portuguese podcast - Market Talks: The impacts of Covid-19 on Brazil’s clean fuels markets

Measures enforced to prevent the spread of coronavirus had a strong impact on the oil and refined products demand around the globe. How big is the drop in demand for clean fuels in Brazil, and how will it reflect in domestic trade flows?

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Oil products Latin America and Caribbean North America Portuguese

22 April 2020

Podcast: The impact of Covid-19 on European bitumen

Coronavirus has affected commodity markets across the globe, and bitumen is no exception. Tune in to this latest podcast to learn how the pandemic has impacted bitumen markets in Europe and Africa.

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Africa English Europe Oil products

22 April 2020

Podcast - Driving Discussions: The surprising RINs market during Covid-19

While all other energy commodities markets around the world have seen a severe dip in prices, RINs prices in the US are steady. What is causing the RINs market in the US to react this way and what is the outlook?

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Oil products North America English

21 April 2020

South African coal industry faces up to 14-year low prices

After trading at nearly $100/t over the winter, South African high calorific value (CV) coal prices fell to a 14-year low this week amid subdued demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Coal Global English Africa Asia-Pacific Latin America and Caribbean North America

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