Monday, 15 October, 2018

U.S, China trade dispute puts oil prices on edge

So what would the loss of Iranian oil exports look like So what would the loss of Iranian oil exports look like
Lindsey Cook | 15 August, 2018, 19:16

US crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week, climbing 6.8 million barrels in spite of refinery crude runs hitting a record high, the Energy Information Administration's data showed.

Crude slid to the lowest in seven weeks as economic turbulence in Turkey and the strengthening greenback heightened concerns about global oil demand.

West Texas Intermediate was down 0.6% to $67.34 per barrel at 3:15 p.m. ET. "Very unpredictable and the president is a great reason for that, the campaign against Iran is a great reason for that", he said, calling President Donald Trump a "meddler-in-chief" for his more active role in moving oil prices.

Analyst say trade disputes between the United States and China as well as turmoil in emerging markets could curb growth and energy demand.

Oil has stayed below $70 this month as fears of a trade war between the USA and China weigh on prices, with neither side showing signs of backing down.

Brent for October settlement was up 0.2 percent at $72.93 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $5.95 premium to WTI for the same month. The Trump administration has forecast that global buyers will cut Iranian imports by as much as 1 million barrels a day once renewed sanctions take effect, according to people familiar with the matter. US light crude was up 90 cents at $68.10.

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, weighed down by a report of increased USA crude inventories and as a darkening economic outlook stoked expectations of lower fuel demand.

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Global oil demand is also rising, but not as fast as supply.

Beyond the darkening economic outlook, Phillip Futures said hedge funds had reduced bullish bets because of "rising production levels from OPEC and the United States".

That was the highest level of drilling activity since March 2015.

Yu was quoted as saying Monday that Iran is one of China's largest trading partners and it would continue to import its crude oil. Yet, bullish sentiment found some support from expectations that looming USA sanctions against Iran could significantly hamper its crude exports.

Iran is selling oil and gas at a discount to Asian customers as it prepares for the return of U.S. sanctions, state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.

"Since it takes months to get USA crude (to China). this (not buying US shipments) is a precautionary measure to avoid any distressed selling in case the government puts tariffs on USA crude oil", said Sushant Gupta, research director at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

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