US OCTG market holds steady amidst upticks in production; stalled oil prices
Although analysts believed that global crude prices would soon reach $60 per barrel, a leading investment bank has lowered its long-term price forecast; the bank now believes that prices will not approach $60 per barrel until 2020. Current news reports put the price of WTI crude oil at $47.72 per barrel.
Many believe the stalemate in pricing can be largely attributed to oil production levels in Nigeria and Libya, which continue to be robust; it’s also worth noting that US oil production has reached its highest level in two years.
In terms of US rig counts, for the week ending July 21, 2017, Baker Hughes reported that while the number of US rotary rigs targeting oil was down by one, to 764, there are still 393 more rigs targeting oil than during the same reporting period in 2016; year-over-year oil exploration is up 105.9 percent.
In terms of how this is impacting current OCTG pricing, levels remain stable week-over-week. Interest booking imports from Korea and Taiwan continue to trend light due to concerns over the possible outcomes of the Section 232 investigation.
Trader sources confirm the most recently heard pricing for US import J55 ERW OCTG casing from Korea in the US domestic market were heard at $42.50-$44.00 cwt. ($937-$970/mt or $850-$880/nt), DDP loaded truck in US Gulf coast ports, prices for US import J55 ERW OCTG casing from Taiwan in the US domestic market is still trending $0.50 cwt. ($11/mt or $10/nt) below Korean pricing.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on July 25, 2017.