Oil Falls on Spiraling US-China Trade Dispute, Rising Output

22 June, 2018, 16:18 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Oil pumps are seen in Lake Maracaibo in Lagunillas Ciudad Ojeda in the state of Zulia Venezuela

By contrast, Saudi Arabia, the cartel's biggest producer and a fierce regional rival to Iran, could have the room to increase output more — and make more money — to make up for the shortfall in countries like Iran.

"It would seem that an aggregate increase in production for OPEC+ of between 500,000 bpd and 1 million bpd is the range that is being considered", Tchilinguirian said.

The need to increase production emerged as Venezuela's production is in free fall and Iranian production is threatened by the re-imposition of USA sanctions.

One might think that President Donald Trump would embrace a move that pressures Iran, but the president took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, saying, "Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again". It would be a real increase in production from those countries with spare capacity including Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Three OPEC sources told Reuters a technical panel - the organisation's economic commission - met on Monday to review the market outlook and present it to member countries' oil ministers later in the week. Indeed, the single largest factor that could push prices down going forward would be a sizable increase in OPEC plus supply.

Oil's market report for the month of June by EIA and Opec showing a stable demand growth while Non-Opec supply growth increased a bit. These numbers suggest that USA and handful of other non-OPEC countries will more than meet global demand. The risk is that Saudi Arabia will choose to go it alone, boosting output. Shortly after, since the USA shale production wasn't able to offset the production cuts that OPEC and non-OPEC nations made, oil prices rose significantly through 2017 up to 2018 and that made the Trump administration anxious about the effect of higher prices on Trump's political stance.

Oil prices have fallen due to the direct result of the market recalibrating to the likelihood of higher OPEC plus production in the second half of the year.

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"This escalation of the trade war is unsafe for oil prices", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. "The whole world has to stand against these arrogant attitudes - and will". If agreed, that would be smaller than the 1.5 million-barrel-a-day quota increase that Russian Federation has proposed.

Underscoring how hard the discussion about a production increase will be, Zanganeh said that Trump's comments have cast doubt on the prospect of a deal.

Iran had been expected to oppose any rise in crude output, but it has now signaled it may support a small increase.

The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel are arriving in Vienna to discuss this week whether to increase production of crude oil and help ease the price of global energy.

Tankers waiting to load more than 24 million barrels of crude, nearly as much as state producer PDVSA shipped in April, are sitting off the Opec member's main oil port.

Non-OPEC members including Russia, Oman and Mexico also agreed to cut 558,000 bpd off their production to stabilise the market. Well, we have to wait until the price reaches the 50 SMA, don't we?


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