Oil prices dip amid well-supplied market, Iran sanction waivers

US crude stocks climbed by 7.8 million barrels in the week ending Nov. 2 to 432 million, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Updated 07 November 2018
0

Oil prices dip amid well-supplied market, Iran sanction waivers

  • Washington re-imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil exports on Monday but granted waivers to its biggest customers
  • Output from the world’s top-three producers Russia, the US and Saudi Arabia, broke through 33 million bpd for the first time in October

SINGAPORE: Oil prices dipped on Wednesday as rising output and US sanction waivers that allow Iran’s biggest buyers to keep taking its crude reinforced the outlook for a well-supplied market.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $72.04 per barrel at 0337 GMT, down 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $61.92, down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, from its last settlement.
Brent and WTI have slumped by 17.4 and 19.7 percent from recent peaks touched in early October.
US bank J.P. Morgan said the “sell-off in oil was due to excessive crude” from rising production “whilst Iranian supply was still in the market.”
Washington re-imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil exports on Monday but granted waivers to its biggest customers, allowing them limited imports for the next 180 days.
Refinitiv Eikon data showed Iranian crude exports have fallen to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) so far in November, down from around 3 million bpd in mid-2018.
But Iran supply is expected to rise after November as waivers are used to start ordering more Iranian oil.
“Waivers are likely to be more extensive than the market expected,” energy consultancy FGE said, estimating that waivers overall would allow 1.2 to 1.7 million bpd of exports.
What’s more, a flotilla of supertankers carrying around 9 million barrels of Iranian oil worth about $650 million is sitting outside China’s Dalian port.
Most ships arrived in the last 30 days, shipping data showed, as Iran tried to get as much crude as possible into markets before the sanctions took effect.
“With the waivers, prices can be managed in the $70-$80 per barrel range, with the upside at around $85 per barrel and the downside limited to $65 per barrel,” FGE said.
Beyond Iran, US bank Morgan Stanley said “supply continues to come in higher-than-expected, particularly from the US, Middle East OPEC, Russia and Libya.”
Output from the world’s top-three producers Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia, broke through 33 million bpd for the first time in October. These three countries now meet more than a third of global consumption.
Iraq, second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), plans to raise output to 5 million bpd in 2019, from 4.6 million bpd currently.
Eyeing the wave of new supply, Morgan Stanley lowered its year-end and first-half 2019 Brent price forecast from $85 per barrel to $77.50.
Inventories are also swelling.
US crude stocks climbed by 7.8 million barrels in the week ending Nov. 2 to 432 million, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
J.P. Morgan said “global floating storage has increased by 3.6 million barrels since July ‘18 to 33.9 million barrels.”
Despite the well-supplied market, J.P. Morgan still warned “the risk to supply remains very high” due to geopolitical risk and a “lack of spare capacity.”
Part of this risk comes from Venezuela, where crude production is in “free-fall” and could soon drop below 1 million bpd, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday, down from the more than 2 million bpd it averaged last year.


Saudi banks, Dubai shares give Gulf markets a timely boost

Updated 24 January 2019
0

Saudi banks, Dubai shares give Gulf markets a timely boost

  • The Dubai index was up by 0.9 percent with Emirates NBD, its largest bank, adding 2.1 percent and its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining 2.2 percent
  • Nasdaq-listed DP World increased 0.7 percent after increasing its stake in its Australia unit

DUBAI: The Dubai stock market snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday, boosted by its financial and property shares, while Saudi Arabia rose on the back of its banks.
The Dubai index was up by 0.9 percent with Emirates NBD, its largest bank, adding 2.1 percent and its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining 2.2 percent. Gulf Arab economies are expected to grow at a slower pace than previously forecast, a quarterly Reuters poll of economists found, as oil output cuts, lower crude prices and weaker global growth put pressure on regional economies. Amlak Finance rose 2.2 percent after announcing a renegotiation of restructuring terms with its financiers to allow more flexibility in adapting to “current market conditions.” Nasdaq-listed DP World increased 0.7 percent after increasing its stake in its Australia unit.
The port operator will spend at least $250 million buying back some shares in its Australian port terminals unit. Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.8 percent, with nine out of 10 banks rising.
Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.6 percent and Samba Financial Group closed 1.7 percent higher. Petrochemical investor Alujain added 1.5 percent after an update on the fire at its affiliate’s plant.
The company said it now expects the NATPET plant to start operating all units by the end of September.
The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent with its largest listed bank Commercial International Bank gaining 4.2 percent.
The Egyptian Exchange on Wednesday canceled all transactions made the previous day in local firms Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) and Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MNHD).
The move followed SODIC’s decision against a takeover of MNHD and involved their shares being suspended on Wednesday as the bourse reset prices. Global Telecom Holding jumped by 10 percent before trading on its shares were suspended, pending a statement from the company after VEON Ltd, a major shareholder in the firm, said it was considering taking it private.