Oil mixed on tighter US outlook, while trade gum weighs from the US and China

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, while the US fuel markets are tightening up, while the trade dispute between the US and China is dragging on international rough contracts.

FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen at sunset outside of Vaudoy-en-Brie, near Paris, France April 23, 2018. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann / File Photo

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) raw futures for delivery in September CLc1 were 27 cents higher, or 0.4 percent, at 0306 GMT, against $ 66.70 a barrel. The contract expires on Tuesday.

The more active October futures were up 7 cents or 0.1 percent to $ 65.49 per barrel.

Traders said that American markets would be boosted in the coming months by a tightening outlook for fuel markets.

Stocks in the United States for refined products such as diesel and fuel oil for this time of year are the lowest in four years.

This happens just before the peak period for these fuels, with diesel needed for tractors to harvest crops and the arrival of colder weather during the autumn of the northern hemisphere, which increases the consumption of fuel oil.

Outside the United States, the crude oil futures of Brent, LCOc1, were somewhat weaker, operating at $ 72.18 per barrel, 3 cents lower than the last closing price.

This followed the offer by the United States of Monday 11 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery from 1 October to 30 November.

The released oil could compensate for the expected supply problems of US sanctions against Iran, which will direct its oil industry from November.

Because of the sanctions, the French bank BNP Paribas said that the oil production of the Organization of the Oil-exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, is expected to decrease from an average of 32.1 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2018 to 31 , 7 million bpd in 2019.

Nevertheless, traders said that overall market sentiment was cautious because of concerns about demand prospects amid the trade dispute between the United States and China.

This week there must be a Chinese trade delegation in Washington to resolve the dispute, but US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday that he does not expect much progress and that solving the trade dispute with China "takes time."


The impact of the Iranian sanctions is not yet clear.

China has indicated that Iran will continue to buy oil despite US sanctions.

The supply restriction in Iran can also be more than compensated by production increases outside the OPEC.

BNP Paribas said that non-OPEC output is likely to grow by 2 million bpd in 2018 and 1.9 million bpd next year.

"Depending on when the constraints of the pipeline infrastructure in the United States are lifted, the growth of the non-OPEC offering may turn out to be higher by the end of 2019 than currently assumed," said the bank.

The search for new oil has increased worldwide in the last two years, with the global number of counts from 1,013 at the end of July 2016 to 1,664 in August 2018, according to the energy services company Baker Hughes.

The biggest increase was in North America, where the number of counts of the last two years increased from 491 to 1,057.

How the prices develop depends on the demand.

"We are seeing global demand for oil rising by 1.4 million barrels per day, both in 2018 and in 2019," said BNP Paribas, implying that global markets are likely to remain adequately supplied.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; adaptation by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger

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