OPEC’s April oil supply down to 30.23mbpd

Andrew Cummings
May 10, 2019

USA sanctions on Iran, Venezuela and supply cuts by OPEC and Russian Federation support prices.

Brent oil dropped below $70 a barrel on Wednesday, hurt by concerns about a deepening US-Chinese trade row, although persistent supply worries prevented a steeper price fall.

Meanwhile, all of Iran's oil clients are looking for alternatives, and they are finding them, but at a higher price: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the UAE were quick to assure the market they would step in and boost exports to fill the Iranian oil gap after the USA announced that no waivers would be renewed.

India is scheduled to get two very large crude carriers carrying 4 million barrels of Iranian oil this month - one each at Paradip in the east and Kochi in the west.

"It has been a less than auspicious start to the month for the energy complex".

In a televised speech, Rouhani said the other signatories-Britain Germany, Russia, France and China-were told in advance of the move.

Exports of Iranian crude oil have been put in jeopardy since the White House re-imposed sanctions on Iran in November a year ago, demanding all countries stop importing oil from the country. The country is the world's biggest oil importer.

Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday amid renewed optimism that a trade deal could be struck between Washington and Beijing, calming fears that a protracted tariff war would harm global economic growth.

"The focus now will be on the two days of talks in Washington scheduled to take place between USA and Chinese officials", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia was increasing its oil production to meet needs arising from sanctions on Iran. It has also said that will stop implementing "some commitments" under a 2015 nuclear deal if it is not allowed to continue exporting oil.

After four months of decline, tightening the oil market considerably, OPEC's collective crude oil production in April held relatively steady from March, rising just 30,000 bpd to 30.26 million bpd.

Still, traders remained on edge as Washington prepares to go ahead with plans to hike tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from China at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.

Both sets of sanctions come amid already tight supply as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has been withholding output this year to prop up prices.

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