OPEC sees tighter 2017 crude market

Updated 12 July 2016
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OPEC sees tighter 2017 crude market

LONDON: OPEC has given an upbeat outlook for the oil market in 2017, saying global demand for its crude would be higher than its current production and pointing to a supply deficit rather than a sizeable surplus that has weighed on prices.
However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a monthly report also cut its forecast for world economic growth this year, citing increased uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and said the pace of oil demand growth would slow slightly next year, in its first 2017 forecast.
“After the UK’s referendum to leave the EU, economic uncertainty has increased,” OPEC said in the report. “Potential negative effects have led to a downward revision of global economic growth in 2016 to 3.0 percent from 3.1 percent.”
Other forecasters including the International Monetary Fund have cut economic growth outlooks following the UK referendum. Concern about the economic impact of Brexit has weighed on oil prices, which at $47 a barrel have fallen from a 2016 high close to $53 in early June.
World oil demand will rise by 1.15 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, OPEC said, its first forecast for next year in the monthly report. That marks a slight slowdown from growth of 1.19 million bpd expected in 2016.
Oil prices have halved from two years ago in a drop that deepened after OPEC refused in late 2014 to cut output to support prices, hoping that cheaper oil would curb higher-cost rival supply such as US shale.
Despite a “dampening effect” of Brexit on the world economy next year, OPEC’s 2017 market outlook suggests the strategy is working as it expects oil supply outside the group to fall further, helping to boost demand for its own crude.
OPEC forecasts supply from outside producers will decline by 110,000 bpd in 2017 after an 880,000-bpd drop this year. The price drop since 2014 has hit non-OPEC supply as companies have delayed or canceled projects around the world.
Oil output from OPEC, adjusted to include returning member Gabon, rose 264,000 bpd to 32.86 million bpd in June, OPEC said. It expects demand for its crude in 2017 to average 32.98 million bpd, suggesting a supply deficit if OPEC keeps output steady.
Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised output to 10.55 million bpd in June. The kingdom said it pumped 10.56 million bpd, a record, in June last year.
OPEC’s report points to a sizeable average surplus of 1 million bpd this year, but also to demand for its crude exceeding current production in the third quarter. The last full quarter when OPEC pumped less than demand for its crude was in 2013, according to past OPEC reports.
“The contraction seen this year in non-OPEC supply is expected to continue in 2017 but at a slower pace,” OPEC said. “Market conditions will help remove overall excess oil stocks in 2017.”


US courts allies with free trade offers at G20, France resists

Updated 22 July 2018
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US courts allies with free trade offers at G20, France resists

BUENOS AIRES: The US sought to woo Europe and Japan with free trade deals on Saturday to gain leverage in an escalating tariff war with China but its overtures faced stiff resistance from France at a G20 finance ministers meeting dominated by trade tensions.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the gathering of the financial leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies in Buenos Aires that he was renewing President Donald Trump’s proposal that G7 allies drop trade barriers between them.
“If Europe believes in free trade, we’re ready to sign a free trade agreement,” Mnuchin said, adding that such a deal would require the elimination of tariffs, non-tariff barriers and subsidies. “It has to be all three issues.”
Trump has angered European allies by imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, causing the European Union to retaliate with similar amounts of tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kentucky bourbon and other products.
Trump, who frequently criticizes Europe’s 10 percent car tariffs, is also studying adding a 25 percent levy on automotive imports, which would hit both Europe and Japan hard.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the European Union would not consider launching trade talks with the United States unless Trump first withdraws the steel and aluminum tariffs and stands down on a car tariff threat.
“We refuse to negotiate with a gun to our head,” Le Maire told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 meeting.
Trump has angered European allies by imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, causing the European Union to retaliate with similar amounts of tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kentucky bourbon and other products.
Trump, who frequently criticizes Europe’s 10 percent car tariffs, is also studying adding a 25 percent levy on automotive imports, which would hit both Europe and Japan hard.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the European Union would not consider launching trade talks with the United States unless Trump first withdraws the steel and aluminum tariffs and stands down on a car tariff threat.
“We refuse to negotiate with a gun to our head,” Le Maire told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 meeting.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde presented the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires with a report warning that existing trade restrictions would reduce global output by 0.5 percent.
In the briefing note prepared for G20 ministers, the IMF said global economic growth may peak at 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, while downside risks have increased due to the growing trade conflict.
Lagarde’s presentation came shortly after Mnuchin said there was no “macro” effect yet on the US economy.
Mnuchin said that, while there were some “micro” effects such as retaliation against US-produced soybeans, lobsters and bourbon, he did not believe that tariffs would keep the United States from achieving sustained 3 percent growth this year.
The US dollar fell the most in three weeks on Friday against a basket of six major currencies .DXY after Trump complained again about the greenback’s strength and about Federal Reserve interest rate rises, halting a rally that had driven the dollar to its highest in a year.
The last G20 finance meeting in Buenos Aires in late March ended with no firm agreement by ministers on trade policy except for a commitment to “further dialogue.”
Brazilian Finance Minister Eduardo Guardia said participants agreed the risks to the global economy had increased since their last meeting, citing rising trade tensions and higher interest rates by major central banks.
He said the final communique would reflect the need for members, particularly in emerging markets that have been roiled by currency weakness, to undertake reforms to protect themselves against volatility.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he would use the meeting to advocate for a rules-based trading system, but that expectations were low.
“I don’t expect tangible progress to be made at this meeting,” Scholz told reporters on the plane to Buenos Aires.
The US tariffs will cost Germany up to 20 billion euros ($23.44 billion) in income this year, according to the head of German think-tank IMK.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he hoped the debate at the G20 gathering would lead to an easing of retaliatory trade measures.
“Trade protectionism benefits no one involved,” he said. “I think restraint will eventually take hold.”