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A Very Fragile Balance In Oil Markets

Against the background of the United States softening its rhetoric vis-à-vis Huawei and Saudi Arabia taking matters into its own hands in cutting export rates significantly below the 7mbpd export threshold, crude prices have steadied a bit on Monday-Tuesday this week. The push factors still remain on the table – OPEC has once again cut its demand growth estimate for 2019 to 1.1kbpd and trade wars continue to unnerve market observers – to counter this, nations whose economy is heavily crude-dependent take special care not to let the crude prices drop too much (Saudi Arabia leading the pack). Germany and China have simultaneously announced market stimuli which might shake up their domestic economy a bit, building market confidence, further buttressed by crude inventory drawdowns over the week in the United States.

Yet the balance is still a very fragile one as there is still no tangible guarantee that the China-US confrontation won’t bring down global growth prospects for the upcoming months and years. By Wednesday afternoon, global crude benchmark Brent traded at $60.4-60.9 per barrel, whilst WTI was assessed at $56.4-56.6 per barrel.

1. Alberta Extends Production Cuts To End of 2020

- The Alberta government has extended its crude production curtailment policy to the end of 2020 with the proviso that it can cancel it altogether if the pipeline squeeze situation ends.

- Initially, the previous Alberta government…




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