Crude oil futures rise 0.81% on firm global cues

Anna Jefferson
July 21, 2018

Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose 0.3% to $69.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil futures for September were trading at $68.19 a barrel, up $0.44 or 0.65%.

Al-Aama described concerns that Saudi Arabia and its partners are moving to substantially oversupply the market as "without basis", explaining that the Kingdom is committed to working with its partners in the Declaration of Cooperation. India, the world's fastest growing oil user, could bridge the surplus by up to $4 billion through oil imports alone, government officials said in April.

Trade tensions between the US and China have stoked fears of damage to their economies and commodities demand.

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While ending purchases from Iran will cost India savings on shipping costs and the longest credit period offered by any of its suppliers, there are gains to be had from paring the trade surplus with the USA - at the heart of Trump's trade war with China.

China's crude oil imports fell for a second month in a row in June to the lowest since December, as shrinking margins and volatile oil prices led some independent refiners to scale back purchases.

USA gasoline days of supply stood at 24.40 days last week, just shy of the highest on record for this time of year, EIA data showed. "We don't have any problem selling our oil [to China]".

Iran wants to make sure that if sanctions are imposed on them by the United States - and if President Donald Trump gets his way to get Iranian oil exports down to zero by November - that the other members of the group don't move to take Iran's market share. The market will right itself once it realises that there will not be a shortfall in oil, even if Iran's oil exports drop from 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to 1 million bpd, as they did under the last period of strong economic sanctions between 2013 and 2015. USA crude stocks rose by 5.8 million barrels last week, compared with a forecast for a decline of 3.6 million barrels.

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"They're pushing out a heck of a lot of crude right now, and they're anxious about the downward pressure on prices", said Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA in NY.

However, attention turned Thursday from demand to supply, with the EIA figures also showing that inventories of crude rose by 5.8 million barrels and output hit a record 11 million barrels per day.

OPEC's commitment in June was to bring compliance to the OPEC production cut deal closer to 100%-which would equate to about a 1 million bpd increase in production.

He said Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in July would be roughly equal to June levels.

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