Monday, 19 November, 2018

Opec could still hold Trump card for India

A Chinese vessel approaching beleaguered Iranian tanker Sanchi to help extinguish a fire that started after it collided with a Chinese vessel off China's shores US exempts India from sanctions at Chabahar port in Iran
Andy Castillo | 09 November, 2018, 22:59

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $72.27 a barrel at 0800 GMT, up 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

The market focused on record US crude production and signals from Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Indonesia that output will grow more quickly than expected in 2019.

China's October crude imports surged 32 per cent from a year earlier to 40.80 million tonnes, or 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday, climbing from 9.05 million bpd in September.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for December delivery sank $1 to settle at $60.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since March. Trump repeatedly has asked oil producers to pump more crude to lower prices. US crude production is accelerating, OPEC output is the highest in years and waivers will allow some Iranian crude exports despite USA sanctions.

Demand worries followed forecasts for slower economic growth in 2019, largely due to a U.S.

And India, which is Iran's second largest customer, is expected to continue importing around 300,000 barrels per day, representing up to two-thirds of what it buys on an average daily basis.

Kidnapped school children released by gunmen in Cameroon
Cameroon has a majority of French speakers, with a significant minority of English speakers in the country's western portion. A principal and a teacher who were abducted along with the children are still being held, Reuters reported.

The slump in oil markets has been exacerbated by a U.S. decision to allow eight countries to continue importing from Iran even after the USA hits the Opec member with sanctions.

"Knowingly providing these services to sanctioned Iranian shipping companies will result in the imposition of USA sanctions", Hook told reporters. The U.S. Energy Information Administration that said Wednesday oil inventories rose to 432 million barrels - the seventh week of increases.

OPEC oil shipments will rise by 670,000 barrels a day to 25.79 million barrels a day in the four weeks to November 24 versus the period to October 27, according to data from tanker tracker Oil Movements. "We do want to achieve maximum pressure without harming friends or allies and we don't want to lift the price of oil".

Also Thursday, Iran's representative to OPEC, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, claimed that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia were helping Trump by increasing their own production to keep oil prices low. The slump has rattled producers, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has signaled it may cut output next year - an option that'll be part of talks when the group meets with partners in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

But a cascade of geopolitical events has blown up the oil world's harmony that sends 100 million barrels a day from the world's producers to thirsty consumers at a price that is satisfactory to both sides.

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