Wednesday, 22 August, 2018

Chinese Unipec suspends USA oil imports amid growing trade row

Crude Oil Supply Oil rallies as Iran sanctions kick in
Lloyd Bates | 10 August, 2018, 14:44

"There is room for [prices in] the crude market to soften a bit more", says John Woods of JJ Woods Associates, adding that inventories could rise further as refineries head toward maintenance season after the summer driving season. It shipped out nearly 3 million barrels per day of crude in September, equivalent to about 3% of global demand. China has proposed to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), fueling speculation that it could also impose tariffs on oil.

On the 4 hour chart, crude oil is crossing above a solid resistance level of $69.45.

The U.S. has restored sanctions against Iran as as President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to impose more penalties on the country's oil sales in November.

"Another factor to consider is that trade tensions might escalate and lead to slower economic growth, and in turn lower oil demand", the IEA said, referring to a trade dispute between the United States and China. On one hand, fears of an all-out trade war provides resistance for the price to move higher.

The August total is also likely to be just above the 9.65 million barrels imported over the first seven months, showing the scale of acceleration in India's imports of US crude.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are under pressure early Wednesday after China said it will retaliate against the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

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The market appeared to move past the renewal of US sanctions against Iran, the world's fifth largest oil producer, which underpinned crude futures in the previous session.

But U.S. bank JPMorgan said a warmer-than-usual fourth quarter could stem from a potential El Niño weather pattern that "can cause droughts, flooding and other natural disasters across the globe, including heatwaves in the U.S. that affect commodities". Iran is the third-largest producer in oil cartel Opec. "The reports that Saudi Arabia's production actually dropped in July continue to provide support for the market".

"I think the market will need to see the evidence gathering on the loss of Iranian barrels following the re-imposition of USA sanctions before it moves up, and I expect it should become very apparent by the end of this month", Tchilinguirian said.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday with re-introduced US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran expected to tighten global supply.

Meanwhile, EIA reported surprising build of 2.9 million barrels of gasoline while the market's expectation was 1.1 million barrels of draw. Nationwide inventories in the United States probably fell 3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before government data due on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia is producing around 10.4 million bpd and could in theory raise output to above 12 million bpd.

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