Brent crude eases toward $107, eyes on Libya

Joseph Keefe
Thursday, April 10, 2014

China exports fall for 2nd straight month in March, while U.S. crude stocks rise, at a record on the Gulf coast (EIA). Libya's oil guards take control of Hariga port, Zueitina pending and OPEC sees lower demand for its crude in 2014. Separately, Brent to fall to $107.17.

Oil prices slipped towards $107 a barrel on Thursday as weaker data from China and OPEC stoked concerns that growth in global oil demand was easing while markets watched for elusive evidence of a resumption in Libyan exports.

Chinese exports unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in March and imports dropped sharply, intensifying expectations of weaker manufacturing and slowing growth in the world's No. 2 economy. Crude imports fell to a five-month low, but rose 2 percent on last year. ID:nL3N0N20O7]

Adding to that bearish outlook, OPEC lowered the forecast demand for its crude oil in 2014 and ended a run of upward revisions to global oil consumption growth.

Brent crude fell 55 cents to $107.43 a barrel by 1244 GMT, after gaining $2.16 over the past two days. U.S. crude fell 24 cents to $103.36.

"We are seeing a further pull-back in oil because China's trade numbers fell short of expectations," said Ben Le Brun, a market analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney.

On the supply side, markets are watching for evidence that a weekend agreement to open two ports in eastern Libya will bring the OPEC country's exports back onto the market after a nine-month blockade of major oil terminals.

Libya's National Oil Corp lifted force majeure on Hariga, its eastern-most port, on Thursday. However, the force majeure at the recently reopened Zueitina port remained.

The market has reacted more cautiously to news out of Libya, after previous promises of an imminent resumption in exports failed to materialise.

"A resolution ... has become somewhat less likely again, several members of parliament having spoken out against the compromise agreed with the rebels," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note to clients.

"The opening of the two larger terminals is dependent on conditions which the government will hardly be able to meet."

U.S. STOCKPILE
Further losses in Brent futures were stemmed by optimism from the United States, where the Federal Reserve's policy meeting suggested the central bank may be more cautious towards raising interest rates, easing market concerns of a pullback in stimulus before the economy is ready.

A steep fall in gasoline stockpiles in the United States also put a floor on oil prices, overshadowing a rise in overall crude stockpiles in the world's top consumer.

Gasoline stocks fell by 5.2 million barrels to 210 million barrels in the week ending April 4, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed, more than the expected 729,000-barrel draw.

Demand for gasoline was 4.4 percent higher than a year ago at 8.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

Crude inventories rose 4 million barrels to 384 million barrels, much more than the 1.3-million-barrel build expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Analysts said the gasoline data helped to push the spread between Brent and U.S. crude, or WTI, to just over $4 a barrel on Thursday, its narrowest gap since September.

"Our view is that the U.S. crude market is slack and that this will eventually feed through to WTI and the spread will widen," Gareth Lewis-Davies, senior energy strategist at BNP Paribas, said.

 

Reporting by Lin Noueihed

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Corima Acquires Damen ASD 2810 Tug

On 20 January 2016, Corima, part of the Italy-based Gesmar Group, held an official handover ceremony for a Damen ASD 2810 tug. The festivities were attended by

HHI to Localise Main Equipment for Offshore Plants

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Heavy Industries Collaborate in Localizing Main Equipment for Offshore Plants   Seoul, South Korea – February 4 – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI),

European Consortium Launches Blue Nodules Project

On 1 February a European consortium launched a new Horizon 2020 project: Blue Nodules. This project addresses the challenge of creating a viable and sustainable

Energy

UAE Plans Floating LNG Import Terminal

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) plans to start a new liquefied natural gas floating import terminal (FSRU) in the second half of this year, three LNG industry sources said.

Glencore to Lift Iranian Fuel Oil at Bandar Mahshahr

Anglo-Swiss commodity trader Glencore has chartered a ship to load Iranian fuel oil at the Iranian port of Bandar Mahshahr in a move that signals the return of

Total, ENN Ink 10-year LNG Supply Pact

European oil major Total has agreed to supply 500,000 tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 10 years to China's privately-run ENN Group, Total said on Thursday.

Offshore Energy

HHI to Localise Main Equipment for Offshore Plants

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Heavy Industries Collaborate in Localizing Main Equipment for Offshore Plants   Seoul, South Korea – February 4 – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI),

FUGRO Wins BHP Pyrenees Contract

Fugro has been awarded a contract by BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty Ltd for the Pyrenees Phase 3 Installation Project.   The Pyrenees development is located offshore Western Australia,

Iqarus Acquires C-CHEC at Subsea Expo

Offshore and onshore health and medical solutions company Iqarus is set to acquire occupational hygiene consultancy C-CHEC to deliver a new integrated offering to global industries.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0820 sec (12 req/sec)