Oil prices oscillate in jittery market as US-China trade war begins
Oil prices oscillate in jittery market as US-China trade war begins
An aerial view of an Iranian floating oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf
09 July, 2018, 23:48
If Beijing does impose tariffs on American oil, it could put downward pressure on the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the USA benchmark, and may weaken its spread to Brent oil, the global market standard. Although there is some general nervousness over the U.S.
Baker Hughes reported an increase in the number of active oil rigs in the United States today.
TAIFEX's Brent Crude Oil Futures contract is 200 barrels (31,797.46 liters), and available for trading in both regular and night session (8.45am to 1:45pm and 3.00pm to 5.00am of the next day). Brent, the global benchmark, rose 1.3% to $78.13.
This news was generally thought of as bearish because traders had been pricing-in a 4.4 million barrel decline. Traders were looking for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels for gasoline, and 250,000 barrels for distillate stocks. USA crude futures added 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $74.09, Reutersreports.
The outage at the 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) Syncrude facility in Canada has contributed to a sharp reduction in the discount for USA crude versus Brent crude over the past month.
Tariffs would make USA oil uncompetitive in China.
"If China imposes tariffs, their refineries won't buy United States crude since it would cost more", Reuters quoted Sandy Fielden, director of research for commodities and energy at Morningstar Inc, as saying over telephone.
But as is the case with any geopolitical conflict, the smart money always identifies opportunities, and Lee Dal-seok, senior researcher at the Korea Energy Economic Institute pointed out that "If China retaliates with tariffs on US crude, that could improve South Korea's terms of buying USA crude.because the USA would need a market to sell to".
Oil prices seesawed on Friday in a nervous market as the United States implemented a raft of tariffs on Chinese goods, which should prompt Beijing to retaliate, potentially including a duty on USA crude imports.
The cancellations mean South Korea will import no Iranian oil in August, the first month of zero imports since August 2012 when South Korean buyers put Iranian oil purchases on hold before getting a waiver to import limited amounts of Iran crude, Reuters added.
"Venezuela.will lose another 400,000 bpd by year-end with production going to below 1 million bpd", FGE said, adding that another 300,000 bpd of Libyan capacity was disrupted.
"Mr. Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the market", said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh stated in an interview.
Energy consultancy FGE warned on Friday of looming supply shortages due to United States sanctions against Iran, and because of disruptions elsewhere. By some estimates, about 1.7 to 2 million bpd of crude and condensate would be cut out of markets once the sanctions are implemented. "On the bearish side both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are living up to their promise to increase output", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
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