This week’s OPEC joint ministerial monitoring committee (JMMC) meeting in Baku sent a powerful signal to the oil markets – OPEC does not see any fundamental changes taking place in the upcoming two months, calling off the April JMMC meeting altogether. That is not to say that OPEC became complacent – on the contrary, it intends to act upon the United States’ policy course vis-a-vis Iran and Venezuela. The waivers granted by the Trump Administration to eight nations are coming to an end on May 4th and so far there has been little to no information on Washington’s future decision, despite China, India, South Korea and Japan already indicating their interest in seeing the waivers prolonged.
Despite the somewhat comforting news from Baku, oil reacted primarily to a reported impasse in the US-Chinese trade talks, increasing the risk of seeing the negotiations delayed well into summer season. As of Wednesday afternoon, Brent traded at approximately 67 USD per barrel interval, whilst WTI hovered around 58.5-59 USD per barrel mark.
1. US Crude Drops Back After Last Week’s Build
- US Commercial crude inventories dropped somewhat unexpectedly by 3.9MMbbl to 449.1MMbbl during the week ended March 08, proving right the American Petroleum Institute’s draw estimate.
- This comes on the back of crude imports dropping by 255kbpd to 6.7mbpd and exports falling by 257kbpd to 2.5mbpd, whilst aggregate refinery input saw only a modest 30kbpd increase…
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