Saturday, 23 January, 2021


Oil prices fall on renewed coronavirus concerns as China cases climb

Oil rises to highest since Feb, set for weekly gain on Saudi output cut Oil rises above $56 as tighter supply offsets coronavirus concern
Conrad Doyle | 13 January, 2021, 19:01

Brent crude, against which Nigeria's oil is priced, was up 95 cents, or 1.7 per cent, at $56.61 per barrel as of 8:55pm Nigerian time on Tuesday after touching its highest since last February at $56.75. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 96 cents, or 1.8%, to $53.28.

The step comes after Saudi Arabia pledged additional voluntary output cuts of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+.

The Saudi cut is part of an OPEC-led deal in which most producers will hold output steady in February.

Oil prices hit their highest level in almost a year and were on track for a weekly gain on Friday, supported by Saudi Arabia's pledge to cut output and strong gains in major equity markets.

But OPEC+ compliance with pledged oil output curbs fell to 75% in December, among the lowest levels since the supply pact started in May 2020, tanker tracker Petro-Logistics said on Tuesday, which could weigh on oil prices.

USA crude oil stockpiles likely fell for a fifth straight week, while refined products inventories were seen up last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Oil is poised for the longest winning streak in nearly two years after an industry report pointing to another decrease in USA crude stockpiles added impetus to a new year rally driven by Saudi Arabian output cuts. Analysts in a Reuters poll expect crude inventories to fall by 2.7 million barrels for a fifth straight week of declines.

Edward Maya, senior market analyst at OANDA Company, stated: "Brent sales declined in the market after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman talked about Saudi Arabia's future beyond oil, and Iraq's decision to raise the price of its crude sales to Asia in February".

US President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on 20 January and has promised "trillions" in extra spending as relief during the pandemic. Inventories are expected to decline by 3 million barrels, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey for Wednesday's US government storage report.

Concerns about demand due to rising coronavirus cases worldwide limited gains.

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