OPEC warns of trade war ‘risks’ for oil market

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo. OPEC has warned about the probable negative impact, on the oil market, of escalating ‘trade tensions’ between the US and China. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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OPEC warns of trade war ‘risks’ for oil market

  • OPEC said buoyant world trade in 2017 and 2018 had helped impulse economic growth and therefore demand for crude
  • OPEC: ‘If trade tensions rise further and given other uncertainties it could weigh on business and consumer sentiment’

PARIS: The OPEC cartel on Wednesday warned that global trade tensions could have a negative impact on the oil market by pushing down demand for crude.
In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said buoyant world trade in 2017 and 2018 had helped impulse economic growth, and therefore demand for crude.
But this may change further down the line, OPEC said, as the United States and China fired the latest shots in their escalating trade war.
Washington on Tuesday threatened to impose new tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing vowed to retaliate.
The latest moves in the trade war between the world’s top two economies came just after tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion in goods came into effect.
According to OPEC, “the re-emergence of global trade barriers has thus far only had a minor impact on the global economy.”
However, “if trade tensions rise further, and given other uncertainties, it could weigh on business and consumer sentiment,” the report warned.
“This may then start to negatively impact investment, capital flows and consumer spending, with a subsequent negative effect on the global oil market.”
OPEC’s latest report comes after the cartel and non-member Russia pledged to boost oil production in a meeting in Vienna last month.
The agreement to hike output came after the price of crude soared earlier this year, hitting $80 per barrel in May.
According to the report, which cites secondary sources, OPEC crude production stood at an average of 32.33 million barrels per day in June, an increase of 173,000 barrels per day over the previous month.
“Crude oil output increased mostly in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, Kuwait and UAE, while production showed declines in Libya, Venezuela and Angola,” the report said.


Stronger US dollar unlikely to derail bullish view on commodities — Goldman Sachs

Updated 21 September 2018
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Stronger US dollar unlikely to derail bullish view on commodities — Goldman Sachs

  • The dollar has been lifted by a stronger-than-expected US economy, the world’s largest
  • A stronger greenback makes the purchase of dollar-denominated international commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies

BENGALURU: Goldman Sachs said a stronger dollar is unlikely to derail its bullish view on commodities, which are likely to find support from physical shortages.
The dollar has been lifted by a stronger-than-expected US economy, the world’s largest, and that’s a positive sign for global growth, the US investment bank said.
The US dollar index has lost more than 1 percent this week, but this follows months of strong demand over US-China trade-related tensions, as investors bet the greenback would gain at the expense of riskier currencies.
“The risk aversion this summer created significant emerging market destocking, particularly in China, as consumers attempted to avoid a strong dollar and tariffs by liquidating inventories,” Goldman said in a note dated on Thursday.
A stronger greenback makes the purchase of dollar-denominated international commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies, making buyers and users more likely to draw on any stored materials in preference to imports.
“This liquidation, however, has a physical limit with Chinese destocking having already created significant increases in physical (premiums) for oil and metals – a sign of physical shortages.”
Going forward, oil had a strong fundamental outlook helped by US demand growth, supply losses and disruptions, and still constrained US shale output, Goldman said.
The bank said its near-term Brent crude oil price target remained at $80 a barrel.
The bank said it was moderating its bullish view for gold due to a sell-off in emerging markets, and it lowered its 12-month price forecast for the metal to $1,325 per ounce, down from $1,450 an ounce earlier.