Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Oil prices drop as rising supplies meets global economic gloom

Oil price falls to $75 from high of $86 Oil prices fall on signs of rising supply, economy worries
Russell Knight | 03 November, 2018, 01:59

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 79 cents at $74.25 a barrel by 1043 GMT, while US futures CLc1 fell 53 cents to $64.78 a barrel.

Brent has fallen by over 12 percent since the beginning of October, while WTI has lost more than 13 percent in value.

"The strong built in oil inventories is likely to keep downward pressure on oil prices", ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

Imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia hit a 32-month low in September, as China, South Korea and Japan sharply cut their purchases ahead of the sanctions on Tehran, government and ship-tracking data showed.

On Tuesday, U.S. oil prices further dived 4.22 percent as Saudi Arabia vowed to enhance oil production and U.S. stock markets sank on disappointing earnings reports.

"We actually believe that the White House is going to be quite stringent in granting significant reduction exemptions and that around 1.6 million barrels of Iranian exports will be off the market by Q1 2019, and that will lead to tighter supply and demand dynamics", according to Croft.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) said high oil prices were hurting consumers and could dent fuel demand at a time of slowing global economic activity. Outcome of macro data from Key global markets and Sino-US trade talks proceedings will now decide the medium term price action direction. The nation's crude oil inventories have increased six consecutive weeks, EIA reported.

According to EIA's latest Petroleum Supply Monthly, U.S. crude oil production reached 11.3 million b/d in August 2018, up from 10.9 million b/d in July. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $1.16 to $65.88 a barrel, down 1.7 percent.

However, the effects of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May, the resumption of Iran sanctions and the potential response from other countries pose significant uncertainty to the forecast. Continuing trade tensions between the US and China are raising concerns slower economic growth will slow the demand for oil. While there are concerns that global demand could falter amid downbeat forecasts for economic growth, other factors are at play too.

USA crude oil production has increased significantly during the past ten years, driven mainly by production from tight oil formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

US crude futures broke through the $65 level that had held in place for the last several months, raising the possibility of further selling.

Oil was also being weighed down by signs of rising supply from top producers.

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