Old fashioned supply and demand pushes oil prices higher

Wall Street traders. Photo: Flickr/thetaxhaven

Aug. 10 (UPI) — Revision to global demand for oil overshadowed trade tensions, this time between the United States and Turkey, to push the price of oil higher early Friday.

The International Energy Agency stated in its monthly market report that commercial stocks of crude oil for the world’s leading industrialized economies is below the five-year average after declining 7.2 million barrels in June. A surplus on the five-year average helped pull the price of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, below $30 per barrel in early 2016.

On the demand side, the IEA revised its outlook for 2019 slightly higher. For non-OECD markets, China and India are on pace to show substantial gains this year.

Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS, told UPI the devil is in the details of an IEA report that also raises concerns about future price spikes and the consequences of global trade tensions.

“Their supply and demand revisions versus last month’s report have the oil market slightly tighter,” he said.

The price for Brent was up 0.31 percent at the start of U.S. trading to $72.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.9 percent to $67.41 per barrel.

While the market appears tighter, a U.S. report this week that domestic crude oil inventories declined less than expected caused the price for Brent to lose 3 percent on Wednesday.

Trade tensions between the United States and China have contributed to recent declines in the price of oil as economists fret that a subsequent increase in the price for some consumer staples could throttle demand.

Those tensions migrated to Turkey on Friday as the fallout over the Turkish detention of an American pastor on charges of espionage rattles the relationship between the two NATO allies. Washington has imposed sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for the move and, on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would not be squeezed into a corner.

“We have no special hostility towards any country,” he stated.

Bilateral discussion between Washington and Ankara are at a standstill. On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced through his Twitter account he authorized a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum, adding the Turkish currency, the lira, was in a free fall.

“Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time,” the president said.

Diplomatic tensions with Turkey matter as the Turkish Straits are a main oil export artery to Europe.


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