Opec warns of trade war 'risks' for oil market

12 Juillet, 2018, 04:55 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Crude Oil

Economists are anxious that escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China will hurt the global economy, lowering demand.

United States crude fell 5% to $70.38 a barrel - its worst one-day decline in a year. That dropped overall crude inventories, not including the US strategic reserve, to 405.2 million barrels.

"In 2019, EIA forecasts that the United States will average almost 12 million barrels of crude oil production per day", said Linda Capuano, Administrator of the EIA.

Brent crude fell $2.10, or 2.7 percent, to a low of $76.76 before recovering slightly to $77.20, down $1.66, by 1208 GMT. Higher gas prices can leave US households with less money to spend on other products.

"In spite of the extraordinary draw in crude oil inventories, the market is under pressure after refiners produced a record amount of gasoline this week and in conjunction with a greater than expected build in distillate inventories", said Andrew Lipow, president at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said buoyant world trade in 2017 and 2018 had helped impulse economic growth, and therefore demand for crude.

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Adding to the bearish mood were signs of a possible relaxation of USA sanctions on Iranian crude exports.

Crude oil is seeing declines with WTI knocking down to 73.40 as trade concerns take oil down the charts after a brief bullish period.

The declines followed a months-long rally that had increased prices to some of the highest levels in recent years.

Washington will consider requests from some countries to be exempted from sanctions it will put into effect in November to prevent Iran from exporting oil, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Among Iran's major oil clients, South Korea and Japan have sought waivers but China, India and Turkey have indicated they may not heed U.S. measures.

Supply to the US market has also been squeezed by the loss of some Canadian oil production.

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