Showing posts with label Doha Talks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doha Talks. Show all posts

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kuwaiti strikers propping up crude prices

The ongoing Kuwaiti oil strike has cut the country’s output for a fourth successive session, US inventory data overnight was price supportive and Iraq is fanning talk of another oil producers’ meeting in May. 

End result is that Brent is above $45 per barrel but remains vulnerable to a correction. Non-OPEC supply declines have started to bite, but risk premium won’t kick in until excess oil falls below 1 million barrels per day (bpd). Even with ongoing refinery maintenance in certain corners of the world and the Kuwaiti oil strike - which has seen its output plummet to 1.5 million bpd from 2.8 million bpd - there is still plenty of the crude stuff on the market.

Whichever way both Brent and WTI futures go, the $40-50 per barrel range is likely to be maintained, and a drop to $35 per barrel remains a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, an uptick in crude oil futures (and iron ore) is driving forex market trends too with beleaguered commodities linked currencies getting some respite.

Mexican peso, Aussie and Canadian dollars are all up versus the greenback. Kit Juckes, head of forex at Societe Generale, said, "With BHP warning of a near-term correction (downwards) and with output of iron ore soaring, the rally should be treated with a bit of caution, but it's going to go on supporting the Australian dollar for now.

"The oil price rally by contrast has better foundations as the supply/demand imbalance is slowly being resolved and while the upside is limited, confidence that the cycle has turned is growing and that will remain a big FX driver. We're long AUD/NZD and the iron ore bounce should help, and short USD/CAD, EUR/RUB and GBP/NOK, all trades which get help from rising oil prices."

Reverting back to the oil glut story - it has some way to run yet, but for the moment Iran ought to thank Kuwaiti strikers for neutralising the Doha Talks farce. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2016. Photo: Oil pipeline © Cairn Energy Plc

Monday, April 18, 2016

‘Doh-a Farce’? Brace for $35/bbl Brent?

The Oilholic is rather surprised that some people are actually surprised the Doha talks between major oil producers turned out to be a bit of a farce.

Well, in case you haven’t heard – the overhyped meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC crude producers aimed at introducing a production freeze has ended without an agreement.

Here is one’s take on the development in a Forbes column. The Iranians never turned up in the first place, and the 18 or so oil ministers who did, saw Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi insist that there would be no coordinated oil production freeze unless the Iranians came on board. And there you have it – a predictable outcome, without the Saudis giving an inch.

So what’s next? The Oilholic deems a shot term return for Brent futures down to $35 per barrel as highly likely. If it is not achieved intraday today, we should probably get there early this week thereby wiping out some of the froth that built up ahead of the Doha non-event - unless of course breaking news of a Kuwaiti oil strike has the opposite effect. 

At the time of writing this post, both Brent and WTI front month futures contracts are trading down by over 6% and slipping towards the mid-thirties.

And here’s another prediction – one doesn’t expect OPEC to achieve anything at its next meeting in June either. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are holding firm, and in no mood to compromise – something that is unlikely to change overnight.

Finally, cutting through all the pre and post Doha Talks hullabaloo, the Oilholic has also not altered his market forecasts – of Brent at or just below $50 per barrel by the end of 2016, supply-demand rebalancing by Q1 2017 and a medium term phase of low prices well shy of the mid-2014 highs before the price curve took a turn for the worse. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude! 

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
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To email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

© Gaurav Sharma 2016. Photo: Oil extraction site in Oman © Shell

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