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How US-China trade war may bring cheaper oil to Indian shores

10 August, 2018, 03:40 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Crude Oil Supply

Last week's U.S. EIA crude oil inventories jumped significantly, putting downward pressure on oil prices before finding some support in the latter half of the week.

"Past instances of El Nino have resulted in sharp drops in United States residential and commercial heating oil demand and prices", it said.

OIL: Crude prices stabilized after declines the previous session.

While some sanctions started from August 6, others, most notably in the petroleum sector, will be applied from November 4.

China's July crude oil imports recovered slightly in July after falling for the previous two months, but were still among the lowest this year due to a drop-off in demand from the country's smaller independent, or "teapot", refineries.

Concerns over recent figures from Chinese crude oil exports have been weighing on traders' sentiment, although the descent should be somewhat tempered by rising speculations of further USA sanctions against Iran. "That said, the sanctions may heighten geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which are likely to weigh on local financial markets", they said.

Iran ranks as the third largest oil producer among its peers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries, or OPEC, having shipped out almost 3 million barrels per day of crude in September.


From November, Washington will also target Iran's petroleum sector.

Data compiled by Bloomberg show that investors in Shanghai are holding contracts on average for an estimated time of under 2 hr since their debut, compared with more than 65 hr for London's Brent crude during the same period, signaling the speculative zeal of the trading in China.

"Oil has barely made its way above $69 and is struggling to gain further, trading in a tight range, as both the upward and downward elements co-exist, pulling prices from opposite directions", Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc., said by phone from Seoul.

Analysts have cautioned that a global heatwave could affect oil demand. China's Unipec has suspended USA oil imports due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

"We continue to expect Brent crude oil spot prices to fall towards $70 per barrel by the end of 2018, as the market appears to be fairly balanced in the coming months", said Linda Capuano, EIA Administrator.

One of Iran's biggest oil customers is buying more US crude. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.15 percent to 95.217 at 3:00 p.m. (2000 GMT). U.S. gasoline stocks climbed 2.9 million barrels last week to 233.87 million barrels, while distillate stocks were up 1.23 million barrels at 125.42 million barrels.

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