Petroleum markets were volatile at the start of this week on the fast-changing news and general market feeling of uncertainty surrounding disruptions in the Houston metropolitan area, and indeed the wider US Gulf Coast. Navarik Data can moderate this with a reasonable degree of certainty that flows will revert to normal, even if the domestic situation may be undetermined until the flood waters recede and locals can take stock of the damage.

Navarik’s unique forward-looking data set of nominations and vessel tracking confirms that marine disruptions in US Gulf Coast clean product exports caused by Harvey are predominantly delays. Observed diversions were towards other less-affected areas of PADD 3, and only one potential cancellation was observed. Approximately 2.5 million barrels of projected refined products are still on the books to be exported, with the vessels staying in the area while waiting to load once the situation normalizes, either out at sea or in berth. Of the estimated 850,000 barrels otherwise remaining on this week’s export bill, some 575,000 have been diverted to other PADD 3 berths. The remaining barrels were dropped, but whether or not this voyage would in fact have been carried out even without Harvey is speculative.

Furthermore, all of this activity will not be captured on the upcoming EIA release (which Navarik Data expects with 90% certainty to show a refined product stock build). Harvey’s final effects on the subsequent release next week can be tentatively assumed to be another build, due to the aforementioned delays in marine exports as well as the relatively late shutdown of much of the region’s refining capacity and an almost surely reduced consumer draw. What matters for PADD 3 is likely the week after that; infrastructure damages, such as that in the Port of Corpus Christi, will surely hamper the swing back up to “business as usual”. However, Navarik Data projects that delayed or diverted volumes will eventually recover and make it to market in a relatively quick turnaround.

Navarik’s team of analysts provide highlights gathered from the Navarik suite of reports. This highly validated set of data provides unique insight into the marine petroleum shipping market.

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