Oil falls over a percent on trade tariffs, WTI nearing $73.00

12 July, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Crude Oil

China is a top buyer of USA crude, and has said it could tax US oil if trade tensions escalate. USA light crude, supported by a tight North American market, was down 65 cents at $73.46 a barrel.

"In 2019, EIA forecasts that the United States will average almost 12 million barrels of crude oil production per day", said Linda Capuano, Administrator of the EIA. US crude fell $1.29 to $72.82 a barrel by 10:53 a.m. ET while Brent crude dropped $1.92 to $76.94 a barrel. Higher gas prices can leave USA households with less money to spend on other products. The specter of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower, along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.

Lower oil prices are particularly important to USA consumers in the summer months when driving reaches its heaviest.

Adding to the bearish mood were signs of a possible relaxation of USA sanctions on Iranian crude exports.

"Although there is a long deadline on this, if these tariffs are introduced there will be an impact on global growth and demand", McCarthy said.

Tripoli-based Libya National Oil Corp said on Wednesday four export terminals were being reopened after eastern factions handed over the ports, ending a standoff that had shut down most of Libya's oil output.


Libyan oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following the port closures, the NOC said on Monday.

With the sanctions on Iran's oil exports and its central bank about to take effect on November 4, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that his country may grant oil sanctions waivers to countries seeking relief from the measures.

China was the world's biggest oil importer past year, followed by the US.

President Trump has been pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, to increase production to cool off oil prices, which recently hit the highest levels in over three years.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast that crude stocks fell on average by 4.5 million barrels, ahead of government data at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.

USA oil prices jumped on the news, but later retreated, though were still above the day's lows.

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