Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Oil prices extend losses after JP Morgan cuts forecast

Crude Oil Crude Oil
Laurie Berry | 08 June, 2018, 22:24

For the week, Brent was set to fall 0.2 percent, while USA crude was little changed.

Crude prices got an early lift on concerns about exports from Venezuela. While oil is still in technical price trouble in the short-term the correction should soon be over.

Brent was up 45 cents a barrel at $75.83 by 1015 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $66.14 a barrel.

One of the key features of oil markets recently has been the widening discount of US WTI crude versus Brent CL-LCO1=R , which has nearly quadrupled since February to $11.40 per barrel, its steepest discount since 2015.

On Friday, OPEC's third-largest producer Iran criticized a USA request that Saudi Arabia pump more oil to cover a drop in Iranian exports and predicted that OPEC would not heed the appeal.

A senior Trump administration member allegedly made a call to Riyadh in a bid to ensure that Saudi Arabia would help deal with a possible decrease in oil output, a day before the USA announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reports citing three sources familiar with the matter.

"This is occurring because of the rapid increase in production from USA shale coupled with the tightening of supplies elsewhere through the actions of Opec and Russian Federation", said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

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OPEC and Russian Federation will meet on June 22/23 to decide whether to increase production following a fall in global inventories.

"If the production ceiling will really be lifted...there will be a renewed pressure on Brent", said Tamas Varga, analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

This followed an unofficial request from the United States asking OPEC's effective leader Saudi Arabia to boost output. The US has quietly pressed Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest member, and other producers to raise supply by about 1 million barrels a day, people familiar with the request said this month.

He told Reuters that he does not believe OPEC will allow the increased production, and warned that oil prices would rise as a result of the Trump administration's sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Oil prices rose on Friday, driven up as Venezuela struggles to meet its supply obligations and by ongoing voluntary output cuts led by producer cartel Opec.

Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that USA crude inventories fell by 2 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations for a draw of 1.8 million barrels.

OPEC member Venezuela, threatened with USA sanctions in the midst of an economic crisis, is almost a month behind delivering crude to customers from its main export terminals, according to shipping data.

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