Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Oil prices firms after two days of losses; eyes on Trump address

Karvounis lies at anchor stranded off the coast of Louisiana OPEC's oil exports to US fell to five-year low in January
Russell Knight | 07 February, 2019, 15:22

Oil facilities are seen on Lake Maracaibo in Cabimas, Venezuela January 29, 2019.

During the remainder of Q1 2019, the capital company expects a gradual lift in prices as OPEC data confirm compliance to the agreement and OECD oil stocks begin to fall to lower than the five-year average.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.84 per barrel at 0247 GMT, down 17 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last settlement.

Oil fell below $62 a barrel on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in USA crude inventories, while concerns about the impact on global supplies of us sanctions on Venezuela faded. Distillate stockpiles alone fell by 2.26 million barrels, compared with a decline of 2 million barrels forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

“With higher production from non-OPEC producers, especially the US, over the last few years, OPEC's market share has been shrinking, ” said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics. "Inventory reports need to confirm any bullish reports if this bounce in oil is to continue", Hekmati added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 partner producers outside the cartel agreed late previous year to hold back crude output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first half of 2019, in an effort to soak up that global supply glut and rebalance the market.

The producers, known as OPEC+, began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut and OPEC has delivered nearly three-quarters of its pledged cutback already.

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At the same time, Venezuela's exports to the US dropped by almost 30 percent. USA crude output stayed at a record-high 11.9 million barrels a day.

Venezuela's opposition is opening a USA fund to receive the proceeds of oil sales, a key measure to secure revenue for its effort to dislodge Maduro, an opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Also dampening market sentiment were worries about weaker global economic growth and the U.S.

Meanwhile, oil supply from the OPEC fell in January by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey found.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible.

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks next week. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

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