Monday, 22 October, 2018

Oil has steepest drop in a month as economic concerns threaten demand

AN aerial view of Chabahar Port in Iran being built by India. The US has refused to allow any country specific exemptions to the sanctions on Iran complicating Indian plans for the port.—File Oil prices climb as Iran sanctions loom
Priscilla Morrison | 14 September, 2018, 11:44

Oil futures rose on Wednesday, with Brent reaching $80 a barrel, after a larger-than-expected drop in USA crude inventories and as United States sanctions on Iran added to concerns over global oil supply.

The falls were due to concerns of a potential slowdown in fuel demand growth because of trade disputes between the United States and China, the world's two largest oil consumers, as well as emerging market turmoil.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday that Russia and a group of producers around the Middle East which dominate the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may sign a new long-term cooperation deal at the beginning of December, the TASS news agency reported.

U.S. crude production is expected to rise 840,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.5 million bpd next year, lower than a previous expectation for a rise of 1.02 million bpd to 11.7 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report.

Gordon Gray, HSBC's global head of oil and gas equity research, told CNBC: "While we aren't explicitly forecasting Brent to rise to $100 a barrel, we see real risks of this happening". On the other hand, bond king Jeffrey Gundlach sees oil heading as high $80 or $90 a barrel.

Oil cut earlier losses and rose towards its highest level this year on Wednesday, after a drop in US crude inventories and as the prospect of the loss of Iranian supply added to concerns over the delicate balance between consumption and production.

The market tumbled early in the session as investors focused on the bearish elements of the IEA report, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in NY.

USA crude futures rose 61 cents to $69.86 a barrel.

More news: Frying Pan Web Cam Shows Hurricane Florence Off North Carolina Coast

The storm is expected to make landfall on the U.S. East Coast on Friday.

American companies in China are being hurt by tariffs in the growing trade war between Washington and Beijing, according to a survey of hundreds of firms, prompting the U.S. business lobbies behind the poll to urge the Trump administration to reconsider its approach.

The Trump administration has invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, just as Washington prepares to escalate the US-China trade war with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The Persian country will by November 4 see a slew of countries already abandoning oil supply contracts and the rest scrambling for alternatives as crushing USA sanctions on Iran threaten to impose additional sanctions on those defying the ban on crude imports from the country.

USA light crude pushed over $70 due to falling U.S. crude inventories and production levels.

Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia are the world's three biggest oil producers by far, meeting around a third of the world's nearly 100 million barrels per day (bpd) of daily crude consumption.

U.S. crude stocks fell by 8.6 million barrels in the week to September 7 to 395.9 million, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecast for U.S. crude output growth in 2019.

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