Oil prices fall as U.S.-China trade war outweighs inventory drop
Oil prices fall as U.S.-China trade war outweighs inventory drop
How will U.S. sanctions on crude oil from Iran affect India?
10 May, 2019, 10:24
The trick for Saudi Arabia is to grab as much of Iran's business as it can - delivering a blow to its adversaries in Tehran, pleasing the United States, and making a great deal of money all at once - without increasing production enough to disrupt OPEC unity, prompting other members to increase production as well, and triggering another oil glut that sinks prices.
Both TankerTrackers and ClipperData have spotted a delivery of around 1 million barrels of crude oil from Iran into the Syrian port of Baniyas, home to Syria's biggest refinery, in the first week of May.
Benchmark Brent was down 18 cents or 0.3 percent at $69.70 per barrel.
"It has been a less than auspicious start to the month for the energy complex".
"Oil prices had rallied about 40 percent since the beginning of the year but the move higher has for now been put on the back burner", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London-based oil brokerage PVM.
TankerTrackers for example said today that "We spotted the first delivery of Iranian crude oil into Syria since January 1st of this year". Washington withdrew from the nuclear pact previous year.
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"The focus now will be on the two days of talks in Washington scheduled to take place between U.S. and Chinese officials", said Jasper Lawler, Head of Research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.
Last month, Washington said it will end Iran sanction waivers that have been granted to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to ensure low oil prices and avoid disruption to the global oil market.
In response to Iran's announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon". While Iraq is India's top-supplier of crude oil since 2017-18, these has been a sudden jump of 288% in imports from the US since 2017-19.
In April, Washington asked buyers of Iranian oil, mostly in Asia, to halt purchases or face sanctions.
The decision to end waivers "is meant to bring Iran's oil exports to zero", Washington said, warning countries that continue to buy Iranian crude after the May 2 deadline will risk facing United States sanctions.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, would increase its oil production to meet needs arising from sanctions on Iran.
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