Turkey’s military invasion into northeastern Syria has moved crude prices higher after this week’s trading failed to move WTI below the $52 per barrel mark. With a further Middle Eastern imbroglio looming, the list of geopolitical risks continues to increase – Iran’s occasional overtures towards the United States have been falling on deaf ears, while Venezuela seems to have no chance of sanctions being removed while Maduro is in place. Following a somewhat unexpected flareup, the global heavy sour shortage might witness a further aggravation as Ecuador struggles to placate its rioting populace, triggered by President Moreno’s move to end fuel subsidies – the situation is so bad that Moreno has already moved his administration out of the capital (Quito remains overruns by riots) into Guayaquil.
Some 0.2mbpd of heavy sour will be gone from the global markets if Ecuador cannot regain control of its Petroamazonas oil subsidiary. Wednesday afternoon saw global benchmark Brent trading at $58.5-58.8 per barrel, whilst US benchmark was assessed around $53-53.2 per barrel.
1. Chinese Crude Imports Still Cannot Breach 10mbpd Threshold
- Chinese crude imports have dropped month-on-month to 9.92mbpd, down from 9.97mbpd in August 2019, on the back of an overall (much larger) Asian crude imports decrease.
- Aggregate Asian crude imports have suffered more from the Saudi production outage, reaching a 6-month low of…