Oil prices rise on Iran sanctions worries, falling Venezuelan output

Brent Crude

Daily June Brent Crude

The economists say they're "now banking on the WTI price to remain close to US$65 a barrel in the coming quarters".

Some oil traders are already steering clear of doing business with Iran as U.S. President Donald Trump signals he'll ditch the nuclear deal with OPEC's third-largest producer.

Turkey and Ukraine, with high inflation and large twin deficits, appear to be the most at risk of a vicious spiral from a continued rise in oil prices while India, Cambodia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Romania are also susceptible, albeit to a lesser extent.

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Imports rose according to the DEO inventory report. That was due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East region as Trump was pondering over the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran.

Meanwhile, surging US production, which hit 10.59 million bpd last week, has encouraged record-high USA exports. On the other hand, he sees potentials for starting a fresh negotiation with a clean slate. "If this leads to a larger discount in tight oil grades, further incentivizing domestic processing, the US may be set up poorly for strengthening distillate demand later in the year".

Interestingly, Macron comments came on the back of his proposal to add conditions with the objective of addressing several concerns of Trump.

The authority also said gasoline inventories had gone up by 800,000 barrels in the reporting period, compared with a 3-million-barrel decline a week earlier.

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"We think at least 250,000 to 350,000 barrels of Iranian crude (a day) could be at risk of disruption if sanctions are brought back into place", said Ehsan Khoman, a strategist at financial group MUFG.

A loading programme compiled by Reuters showed that exports of crude from Nigeria averaged 1.61 million bpd. Gasoline inventories increased by 0.8 million barrels last week, which was in line with expectations. Today, at 15.30 GMT, markets will react to the Weekly EIA Crude Oil change which is now showing a forecast of -2,043M from a previous of -1.071M.

Brent crude oil futures were at 73.78 per barrel at 0156 GMT, 8 cents below their last close and nearly $1.7 below the November-2014 high of $75.47 a barrel reached the previous day. Brent was off 35 cents to $73.50 a barrel.

"One might wonder what is behind this increase when the dramatic surge in USA crude production signalled just recently a balanced global oil market and the price of WTI staying at around US$60 a barrel", says the report. Total product demand over the last month averaged about 20.4 million barrels per day, up by 4.3% year over year.

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