Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Opec confident China-US dispute won't hit demand

Oil steady as emerging market woes dim demand outlook Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver
Elsie Buchanan | 15 August, 2018, 13:25

Oil prices have fallen today, pulled down by a report of increased United States crude inventories and as a darkening economic outlook stoked expectations of lower fuel demand.

On Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned the energy market outlook could become "far less calm" as US -imposed oil sanctions against Iran take effect.

Oil prices moved sharply lower on Monday after data suggested inventories at the USA crude delivery hub rose in the latest week, compounding worries that troubled emerging markets and trade tensions will dent the outlook for fuel demand.

"The most obvious thing that could change this bullish view is not the U.S".

Turkey's financial crisis has raised the risk of contagion throughout emerging economies, dragging down South Africa's rand, Argentina and Mexico's pesos as well as the Russian rouble. Also, potentially weighing on oil markets are signs of slowing economic growth and fuel demand growth, especially in Asia's large emerging markets.

In a monthly report, OPEC said the world will need 32.05 million bpd of crude from its 15 members in 2019, down 130,000 bpd from last month's forecast.

Volatility has thus become the flavor in recent months as oil markets reacted to increased supply from the OPEC, Russia and the US.

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Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their bullish positions in US crude futures and options in the week ending on August 7, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

"Maintaining global supply might be very challenging", the bank said, although it added that "the U.S.is doing its bit to increase production, with data showing drilling activity is continuing to rise".

Oil prices slid Monday after inventories at a key U.S. crude delivery hub jumped last week, adding to demand concerns.

The United States has started implementing new sanctions against Iran, which from November would also target the country's petroleum sector.

But then Trump's displeasure with high oil prices and influence over Saudi Arabia has led to augmented production levels.

As for Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer submitted to the group its own data which showed that output slipped by 200,000 to 10.28 million bpd in July.

"There are lots of variables in the oil market, the most important of which is Iran", said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

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