Crude Mixed as Asian Refiners React to Impending Trade War

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

There are about a million Iranians living in the USA, many with green cards, representing a wide pool of residents who can eventually become citizens.

As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's United States tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. USA crude CLc1 was down 30 cents at $73.50.

The tightness at Cushing and the potential increase in Gulf exports "both have implications for how quickly the prompt overhang in the market can clear, and thus provide some direction for prices", Chauhan said.

The concerns that oil prices will fall due to the US-China trade conflict have nearly disappeared. -China tit-for-tat on trade. Standing in the line of fire are United States crude supplies to China, which have surged from virtually zero before 2017 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July.

American crude shipments to China are around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), worth $1 billion a month at current prices.

In an alarming sign for Washington, and a welcome development for Iran, some locals have decided not to see which way the dice may fall.

China has said it would immediately retaliate with its own tariffs, and U.S. President Trump said on Thursday the United States may ultimately impose tariffs on more than a half-trillion dollars worth of Chinese goods, in what may become a fully blown trade war.

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He added his refinery had cancelled US crude orders and would switch to Middle East or West African supplies instead.

An executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group said he expected Beijing to soon impose the tariff on USA oil imports.

"(Nonetheless) supply disruptions in Libya and Canada may put upward pressure on prices in the near-term", ANZ said in a morning note, adding that recent data showed "an increase in the net-long positioning of hedge funds on Brent crude".

Oil prices are likely to be weighed down by the trade conflict as investors are concerned about the impact of the tariffs and counter tariffs on global economic growth, analysts said.

"Iran's exports are some 2.7-million barrels a day, including condensate", it noted.

Oil prices surged to their highest level in more than three years this week, sending the price of a barrel of oil up to $74.15, the highest price since November 26th of 2014.

Crude oil could surge to more than $120 a barrel, according to Bank of America Merill Lynch analysts, if the Trump administration were to order a complete cutoff of Iranian barrels before the end of the year. However, if the ongoing pipeline bottleneck in the Permian is not resolved soon, said solace will prove to be short-lived.

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