Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Oil falls on rising output, escalating China-US trade spat

Brent Crude Oil Weekly August Brent Crude OilMore
Jodi Jackson | 22 June, 2018, 16:14

US sanctions will contribute to Iran and Venezuela potentially losing nearly 30 percent of their oil output next year, requiring extra supplies from the group's Gulf members, the International Energy Agency said last week. In the past three weeks, however, the price has retreated back to $74.06 with a 4% fall since Friday triggered by Trump's trade war with China and concerns that Russian Federation and Saudia Arabia will look to increase output at a meeting in Vienna of Opec oil-producing nations this week. Some OPEC members back increasing output by the lower end of the 300,000 to 600,000 barrel a day range, one of the people said. Moscow and Riyadh have made it clear they are in favor of a return to higher production to keep a lid on prices but other OPEC members, notably Iraq and Iran, are against it.

Retail prices of petrol and diesel are ruling at Rs 75 a litre and Rs 68 a litre amid the global surge in crude prices.

In Russia meanwhile, private oil companies are finding it increasingly hard to justify the cutbacks to shareholders eager to cash in on the higher prices.

Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch said that given big differences in the positions of OPEC members, the Friday meeting was likely to be tough. I mean, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia etc.

In an escalating spat over the American trade deficit with most of its major trading partners, including China, U.S. President Donald Trump last week pushed ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, starting on July 6. A dip in oil prices over this last week suggest that the market is factoring in a likely rise in production levels.

Tokyo ended 0.8 percent down, while Singapore sank more than one percent, Seoul dropped 1.3 percent and Manila tumbled 2.5 percent.

For one, the confrontationist attitude shown by the U.S. government has rattled world currency markets.

OPEC is up for a tough meeting in Vienna this week after the leaders of the two groups of the OPEC/NOPEC production cuts-Saudi Arabia and Russia-have signaled that they are willing to boost production to offset what is sure to be further supply disruptions, mostly from Venezuela's collapsing oil industry and from a potential decline in Iran's oil exports in view of the returning US sanctions.

The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel are arriving in Vienna to discuss this week whether to increase production of crude oil and help ease the price of global energy.

A cut in Chinese purchases of USA oil may also benefit Iran's sales, which Washington is trying to curb with new sanctions it announced in May.

It warned the United Kingdom economy was set to grow at its weakest level since 2009 due to the uncertainty surrounding the split from the European Union, rising oil prices and trade war fears. Brent crude jumped $1.55 to $74.99 a barrel. Russia, by far the largest non-member to join OPEC's cuts agreement, has said it would be happy with lower crude prices and appears keen to start up new fields. "Combined with Iranian sanctions, more floating storage, this could reverse the decline in OPEC-related tonne-mile demand that resulted from the production cuts of 2017", the broker said.

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