Oil dips as IMF lowers global growth outlook; eyes on US hurricane

Nearly 40 percent of daily crude oil production was lost from offshore Gulf of Mexico wells on Tuesday because of platform evacuations and shut-ins ahead of Hurricane Michael. (Reuters)
Updated 10 October 2018

Oil dips as IMF lowers global growth outlook; eyes on US hurricane

  • The IMF downgraded its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019
  • ‘Prices are peaking at the most opportunistic time given waning global growth narrative’

TOKYO: Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday after the IMF lowered its global growth forecasts but prices were supported as Hurricane Michael churned toward Florida, causing the shutdown of nearly 40 percent of Gulf of Mexico crude output.
Brent crude futures were down 21 cents at $84.79 a barrel by 0434 GMT, after a 1.3 percent gain on Tuesday.
US West Texas Intermediate crude was down by 34 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $74.62 a barrel, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session.
The International Monetary Fund downgraded its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 on Tuesday, raising concerns that demand for oil products may slump as well.
Trade tensions and rising import tariffs were taking a toll on commerce, while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows, the IMF said.
“Prices are peaking at the most opportunistic time given waning global growth narrative,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at OANDA in Singapore.
In the United States, nearly 40 percent of daily crude oil production was lost from offshore Gulf of Mexico wells on Tuesday because of platform evacuations and shut-ins ahead of Hurricane Michael.
Oil producers evacuated personnel from 75 platforms as the storm made its way through the central Gulf on the way to landfall on Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle.
The country’s largest privately-owned crude terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, said late on Tuesday it had halted operations at its marine terminal.
The facility is the only US port able to fully load and unload tankers with a capacity of 2 million barrels of oil.
Companies turned off daily production of about 670,800 barrels of oil and 726 million cubic feet of natural gas by midday on Tuesday, according to offshore regulator the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Iran’s crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, as buyers sought alternatives ahead of US sanctions that take effect on November 4.
Industry and government data on US crude inventories will be delayed by one day this week because of a public holiday on Monday. The American Petroleum Institute is due to release data on Wednesday, while the US Energy Information Administration is due to publish on Thursday.
“There seems to more positive supply chatter in the equation this week, and even although we know its maintenance season the markets are so long positioned that we could see an outsized move on a big build,” Innes said.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”