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Trade War Impasse Keeps Oil Prices From Rising

The first week of September continued on the course set by August, most of the market motion can be boiled down to the US-China trade conflict jeopardizing growth prospects across the world and US stocks decreasing providing a counteracting short-term relief for crude prices. Trade negotiations with China did not progress much in the past seven days, except for President Trump warning his Chinese counterparts that getting a deal after his (possible) 2020 re-election might be much more difficult than now. Analysts expect a 3 MMbbl drawdown in US crude inventories for the week ended August 30 – thus, despite a drop in prices on Friday-Monday, crude prices on Wednesday roughly the same as they were a week ago.

Global benchmark Dated Brent traded around $60 per barrel on Wednesday afternoon, whilst US benchmark WTI was assessed at $55.3-55.5 per barrel.

1. China Crude Imports Drop in August

- Chinese crude imports in August 2019 were palpably hit by the ramifications of Typhoon Lekima which constrained Shandong refinery operations mid-month.

- September imports will most probably bounce back from August’s 5-month low (7mbpd worth of crude already booked) as the 400kbpd Rongsheng Zhejiang refinery eats up bonded storage reserves.

- The Zhoushan-based private refiner has started up in July this year, yet has sourced its feed primarily from nearby storage so far.

- For the fourth month in a row, aggregate Asian crude imports…




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