China has issued new oil product export quotas to allow oil companies to send surplus barrels overseas, particularly Sinopec, which has the highest volume among quota holders. While the exact quota volume remains undisclosed, oil companies are forecasted to export approximately 3.5 million metric tons of clean oil products in September, a 10% increase from August.
OIL: OPEC's battle
2020-02-27 • Updated
Performance in 2020: -23%
Last day range: $52.50 – $53
52-week range: $52.50 - $75
Oil’s breakeven price
Next Thursday, OPEC will hold its extraordinary (meaning, urgent) meeting in Vienna. Why? Because to many oil-exporting countries from the Middle East (they make the bulk of OPEC) such as Saudi Arabia, $50 per barrel is approximately the breakeven price. That means, the current price of oil leaves little room for those countries to extract as many profits as were planning for – if any. Hence, the urgency of the meeting.
That gains even stronger momentum as there are larger disagreements within the OPEC+ (where Russia is a key player) about further cutting the supply, which is the main (if not only) lever the cartel can use to support the oil price.
Very probably, the dynamics of the global Coronavirus spread outside China will strongly impact the decision to be taken at the meeting on March 5. And the intrigue is: although the issue becomes clearer with China itself (infection pace decreases, projections for confident virus containment are set in mid-April), what about the rest of the world, especially the US? We are yet to see that. As well as Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC Secretary-General.
One thing is for sure: OPEC will use all means to stop the oil price slumping. If we hear strong measures announced by Mr. Barkindo in line with confident virus containment plans by the global community by next Thursday, very likely oil (Brent, in our chart) will get back to $60-70$ channel of movement.
Thanks to the incredible advancements in horizontal drilling and fracking technology, the United States has experienced a mind-blowing shale revolution. They've become the heavyweight champion of crude oil production, leaving Saudi Arabia and Russia in the dust. They even turned the tables and became net exporters of refined petroleum products in 2011.
Oil prices rebounded slightly on Friday but are still expected to show losses for the week due to concerns about slowing growth in the US and China. US crude futures rose 2.7% to $70.41 per barrel, while the Brent contract increased by 2.5% to $74.33 per barrel.
The past several weeks have been a real triumph for the bulls in the oil market. The Brent spot price grew by 8.5% during the last month.
Gold prices are rising for three consecutive days ahead of the Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate decision, which is expected to remain unchanged due to declining inflation and a positive economic outlook. Investors are keen on the Fed's interest rate guidance, fearing a hawkish stance that could trigger market risk aversion.
Amid concerns of a Chinese economic slowdown, reports of declining investment often overlook China's efficient investment strategy in emerging sectors for long-term growth. China has taken measures to stabilize foreign and private sector investments, like reducing the reserve requirement ratio to boost investor confidence.