Tuesday, 21 August, 2018


Oil falls after Trump threatens to escalate trade war

Oil prices are likely to be weighed down by the trade conflict as investors are concerned about the impact of the tariffs and counter tariffs on global economic growth analysts said. — Reuters pic Oil falls after Trump threatens to escalate trade war
Conrad Doyle | 14 July, 2018, 09:28

Other risk assets also dropped, with Asian stocks and U.S. equity futures slumping, while safe-haven securities, such as the yen and Treasuries rose.

Libya's national oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a high of 1.28-million bpd in February following recent oil port closures, National Oil said on Monday. Though signs of shrinking U.S. stockpiles and output reductions in Norway and Gabon are adding to risks, the intensifying trade conflict between the USA and China is heightening fears over global economic growth. Such a tariff would make American crude oil uncompetitive in China, and US oil sellers will have to find alternative buyers for their crude to replace the volumes they are now selling to their second-largest oil customer after Canada.

With geopolitics-tariffs and sanctions-reshuffling the oil interests and oil flows of the U.S., China, India, and Iran, India alone may not be enough to absorb the U.S. oil exports to China, now America's second-largest single oil customer after Canada. But in May, India's imports of US crude oil jumped by nine times the April volumes-signifying that at least a partial switch is already underway.

If China follows through with its threat to slap tariffs on USA oil imports, it would put downward pressure on the WTI Crude benchmark and widen its discount to Brent Crude, which could be make US oil even more attractive to Indian buyers, according to Fielden.

ICE Brent Crude fell $2.10, or 2.7%, to a low of 76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1325 GMT.

United States crude futures rose to settle at high of 74.70 dollars. The contract climbed 1.5 percent on Tuesday. "You're seeing some at $70, but we could go down to $64, where we took off from". Close American allies such as South Korea and Japan are grappling with how to sustain their ties with the USA without jeopardising their energy industry as well as their relationship with long-time crude supplier Iran.

It's likely that some countries will seek an exemption from sanctions on Iranian oil purchases, and the USA will consider these applications, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Washington had earlier told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial measures, with no exemptions.

However, oil prices have been volatile in recent weeks after the United States said it would reinstate sanctions against Iran, a major producer.

September-loading cargoes are set to be the last to head for Japan if the Asian nation doesn't receive an exemption from the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.

"We remain sceptical that the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation, which has lost control over key oil ports to militia who are backing a rival national oil company, will be able to double its output as intended". The outage in Libya had helped drive up oil prices over the past few weeks, fueling speculation that Saudi Arabia would need to burn through much of its spare capacity in order to keep the market well-supplied. In Venezuela the oil-rig count declined for the sixth straight month to a 15-year low. Royal Dutch Shell Plc. shut a North Sea field and workers threatened to escalate labor action at the weekend.

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