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Commodities

Crude oil prices fall over lingering concerns on world’s largest consumer

Both International benchmarks for crude gained more than 2% yesterday.

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Oil prices gain likely to halt over demand uncertainty as US-China tension intensifies

Crude oil prices plummeted on Friday morning as the resurgence of COVID-19 picked up globally, especially in the world’s largest economy and consumer of crude oil (United States), dampened the optimism for strong demand in energy goods.

Brent crude futures lost 0.70% to trade at $42.84 a barrel at 4.30 am Nigerian local time, and the West Texas Intermediate also dropped 0.8%, to trade at $40.31 a barrel.

Quick fact: Both International benchmarks for crude oil gained more than 2% yesterday, triggered by positive macros coming from the U.S Job report and falling U.S. crude inventories. For the week, Brent crude is up 4.3% and WTI is up 5.6%.

READ ALSO: Shell warns investors it may write down up to $22 billion due to oil crash

Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, in a note to Nairametrics, explained in detail the lingering concerns about the world’s largest consumer of crude oil. He said:

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“The demand concerns continue to linger amid a rise in gasoline stockpiles as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 on Thursday.

“And as significantly, the infection curve rose in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has mostly spared only the Northeast. Indeed, faltering re-opening of US States as Covid-19 cases rise remains the primary thorn in the oil bulls’ side.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s external reserve drop by $261 million in 15 days, oil firms to sell forex to CBN 

“But worrisome for oil prices are the densely populated southern US states that have been ravaged by the virus and are among the US’s most weighty consumers of gasoline.

“With the latest state government health advisory imploring Sun Belt citizens to restrict movements coupled with the re-imposition of localised lockdowns, there is a detectible level of uncertainty in the oil market heading into what is traditionally one of the busiest driving weekend of the year, the July 4th celebration weekend.”

However, some oil traders and investors remain optimistic that the price of crude will maintain its bullish momentum in the midterm, as long as certain parameters are kept in place.

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“The market has become increasingly confident that easing restrictions on travel and business would boost demand for crude oil, but the pandemic’s progress threatens to derail this recovery,” ANZ Research said in a note.

“The recovery in gasoline demand will plateau until the U.S. economy improves,” it concluded.

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Olumide Adesina is a French-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment Trading. A member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society. Financial Market; Yale University, Behavioral Finance; Duke University. You can follow Olumide on twitter @tokunboadesina or email [email protected]

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Commodities

Where is oil headed in the short term?

Oil prices may fall again if there is another surge in Coronavirus cases.

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What is holding oil price?

Oil prices have risen by 128% from it’s April low as it has steadied above $40 a barrel since mid- June. At the same time, fluctuating demand and rising supply present a bottleneck for those who are expecting oil prices to keep climbing. Reduction of the size of output cuts to 7.7million barrels a day from August, by the group of 23 oil-producing countries which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia would add about 2 million barrels to the daily oil production levels. Most of the extra OPEC+ crude would not reach the global market. These extra cuts would be used to service internal demand for electricity to run air conditioners as a result of the scorching temperatures across the Arabian Peninsula. Fewer citizens have been travelling to Europe to avoid the scorching temperatures.

Rising supply is not the only thing that will put pressure on crude prices. The anticipation for recovery in demand for oil is also running into problems. At a period when crude prices were at the lowest point in April, China made a record purchasing splurge and subsequently, China’s oil buying decreased. The amount of oil kept in Shandong province haulers and refineries has risen by 28% since mid-May and close to hitting a five-month high. However, there is still an enormous pile-up of vessels that are waiting off the seashores to offload their freights. Some of them have been there for two months.

READ ALSO: What banks might do to avoid getting crushed by Oil & Gas Loans

Temporarily, China’s independent refineries started to decrease their processing rate from record levels in mid-June and massive glut across the country may reduce its demand for gasoline and oil by almost 5%, whilst the decline should be temporary.

Vacation States, like Florida and California, are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, with a record number of daily infections and increased death tolls. This has caused travel restrictions and also, ruining demand for both gasoline and jet fuel. The recovery in US gasoline demand stalled shortly after the driving summer season got underway. Crude is being squeezed between rising supply and a stagnating demand recovery, which is going to make the oil bulls uncomfortable. It is plausible supply could overload storage facilities, pipelines and refineries, creating little room for domestic production of oil.

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READ ALSO: Gold loses $70 dollars in an hour after reaching $2,000

In the past few months, Saudi Arabia, Russia and most OPEC members complied to slashing production. On the other hand, American oil companies are decommissioning rigs and shutting Wells. These developments helped push oil prices remarkably. Oil prices may fall again if there is another surge in Coronavirus cases and death as governments begin allowing businesses to reopen and people might see that as carte blanche to move about more freely.

The US oil companies have started producing oil from the wells they abandoned when the prices sank, after the restoration of wells that were shut earlier this year. There are chances that prices could also fall when haulers filled with more than 50million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, reach the US in July ending. US oil companies have increased production by 1.2million barrels a day in the past six weeks. Output went as low as 9.7million barrels a day in the second week of June but has risen to 10.9million barrels a day as activity begin to recuperate in the big shale fields on Texas. US production will now balance at about 11million barrels a day through to the end of 2020 which is well below the 13million barrels a day in March before the Saudi-Russian price war and Coronavirus pandemic devastated the US oil prices.

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Commodities

Crude oil prices record gains, as Iraq pledges to curb crude oil production

Oil markets traded softer into the weekend on the back of escalating US-China tensions.

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CRUDE OIL, U.S Shale, Naira under pressure, as crude oil hits $25 per barrel, Oil Price: A dead cat bounce in the making?, Bears tear Crude oil futures into shreds as Brent slumps more than 20%

Crude oil prices soared higher on the first trading session of the week. This is as Iraq, a leading OPEC member, disclosed that it would reduce its oil production. More so, U.S. President Donald Trump has taken executive action on the provision of economic aid to Americans hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby reigniting hopes among crude oil traders for a recovery in energy demand.

The West Texas Intermediate gained 1.26% to $41.71. Brent Crude was also up 0.95% to $44.82 at the time this report was drafted.

Iraq, the second-largest OPEC member (in terms of production capacity) disclosed that it would increase its production cuts to compensate for failing to comply with a deal earlier made in April 2020 to curb crude oil production.

READ MORE: Comparing the 2016 oil price crash to 2020 oil price crash

Insight: In an explanatory note to Nairametrics, Stephen Innes, the Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, spoke about the macros that crude oil is presently focused on. He said:

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“Oil remains in a relatively tight trading range with upside capped by concerns about the pace of the post-COVID-19 macro recovery and rising OPEC+ and US supply.

“Oil markets traded softer into the weekend on the back of escalating US-China tensions. Although prices bounced favorably on the US employment data, they were unable to hold on to their gains given the geopolitical overhang.”

READ MORE: World’s largest oil company to pay $75 billion annual dividend, despite plunge in profits

Still, crude oil markets continue to test the upper bound of its recent trading range, supported by OPEC’s unwavering compliance commitment which was reaffirmed when Saudi Arabia and Iraq’s energy ministers made a joint statement saying that they were fully committed to the OPEC+ oil production agreement.

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Commodities

Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally.

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Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Five oil majors (including Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum) reduced the value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2, 2020. They also reduced their production rates as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downward trend in energy demand.

What this means: The cut in asset valuations and reduction in crude oil production by these oil majors showed the depth of damage the COVID-19 pandemic caused on the global energy sector in Q2, 2020.

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally and still remains below pre-pandemic levels.

READ MORE: Respite for Nigeria as Exxon Mobil and Shell lose $1.8 billion arbitration award  

Some of these conpanies’ executives said they took these austerity measures because they expect demand to continue to be on the downward trend in the meantime. This is in view of the fact that people around the world are traveling less, even as many global industries are not in full capacity. The pandemic has already killed more than 700,000 people.

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Of those five oil majors, only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) did not book sizeable impairments, Reuters reported. However, an ongoing re-evaluation of Exxon Mobil plans could lead to a reasonable amount of its assets being impaired, and signal the removal of 20% or 4.4 billion barrels of its oil and gas reserves.

READ ALSO: Oil prices drop to 21-year low as demand and storage crises persist

Oil major BP (BP.L) took a $17 billion hot. It said its plans in the coming years would be a focus on renewables and fewer fossils.

About two weeks ago, Nairametrics reported how Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted their worst losses in modern history, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a glut in crude oil reduced the demand for energy products in the second quarter of 2020.

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