Remember August 1st? That’s when Trump announced new tariffs on China and oil took its biggest plunge in four years… and now the final week in August is gearing up to be even worse than that. Oil prices fell sharply at the end of the week after China announced on Friday that it will levy tariffs on US crude oil by the end of the year. Until now, China has targeted LNG for tariffs, but never crude. The market will be looking for a signal as to what this means for the demand picture, but its verdict won’t just be about strict near-term fundamentals. China doesn’t import the bulk of its crude from the US, while Saudi crude shipments to China have doubled over the past year. At the same time, the Fed’s Friday announcement could also impact oil markets.
The Oil Hedge That May Not Happen
Mexico’s billion-dollar oil hedge may not happen this year, a disappoint for Wall Street as the banks always battle to be on the profit side of this hedge. Volatile oil markets - the very thing that makes the hedge necessary for Mexico - are causing Mexico to reconsider is mega oil hedge that in 2015 netted the country more than $6 billion through the contracts it arranged with banks to sell its oil for a predetermined price that was much higher than the rate at the time of sale. While some progress was made in June in coming up with its formula for the hedge, it was still later in the year than usual. Mexico relies heavily on its wildly successful hedge for its revenues, and if it…
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