WTI Crude Oil Market Outlook - Can US tariffs offset US Crude Oil exports?
Various geopolitical circumstances have changed since our last report that have affected the Oil markets pricing trends in the past days.
The US, represented by its President, Donald Trump has displayed yet another trick down their sleeve regarding strategic dealing with exogenous matters as per certain countries.
Just before the Iranian sanctions would be applied and charges would be enacted for countries doing business with Iran, the US had a sudden change of mind with its president leaving the door open for a negotiating meeting between him and the Persian president.
Iran followed up by stating the US must accept the 2015 nuclear deal in order to proceed with negotiations.
To have a complete balanced picture, we must state that nothing is guaranteed and for the moment the scenario of sanctions being applied is more probable.
In our last report, Saudi Arabia stated it would cease its Oil transport within the Red Sea because Iranian forces had lightly interfered with some tankers, though no casualties were noted.
However, Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it has resumed all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb.
Furthermore, various inside sources have stated that the Red Sea remains a safe passage and it is used as a tourist destination, also stating that the news was paid for on purpose and is provided to the public as a propaganda to move Oil prices.
Whatever the case, Oil prices had reacted to the news and whether it is true or not the Saudis did express their worries on the mater.
Furthermore, International market reactions to the above-mentioned matter vary and some of the biggest oil consumers are most significant in order to understand what the future could possibly hold for the commodity’s prices.
Starting with China, their government initially stated it would not increase oil purchases from Iran, but has rejected a U.S. request to stop them completely.
It is estimated that China will keep up its Oil trade with Iran however without violating any international rules and it will pay for the Oil in Yuan.
In India, following the US aggressive stance towards Iran, the government had stated it was preparing for a diminishing Oil import scenario, bringing Iranian imports to zero levels.
At the moment, India is trying to find alternative solutions as demand is forecasted to grow for the country and the same goes for China.
The European Union stands for holding the current 2015 nuclear deal in place as the consequences could be unforeseeable.
The latest news from the EU on the matter, is the demand for exemptions to firms that are in business with Iran.
This matter remains very delicate and could take months until the issue is resolved.
At the same time there are already signs that it will be harder for Iran to export, as some international insurers have stopped covering shipments.
On a related note and on Friday, sources noted Saudi Arabia pumped around 10.290 million barrels per day of crude in July, down about 200,000 bpd compared to previous.
The pre mentioned fact contradicts statements made in June from OPEC and Russia to alter production and comply 100% with their agreement.
The news gave support to Oil prices that held some upward movement on Monday morning.
On a different note, the U.S. indicated active oil rigs were reduced for a second time in the past three weeks according to Baker Hughes.
Drillers cut two oil rigs in the week to Aug. 3, bringing the total count down to 859.
Moreover, U.S. shale oil companies released poor quarterly results in past weeks, citing reasons of rising operating costs, and a drop in crude oil prices compared to highs reached in May and July.
As a conclusion, the US-Sino trade war seems to be unending and the matter is now escalating to crude Oil exports.
Even though oil exports from the US have increased in August for China, analysts forecast that September could get ugly for the US China Oil trade with both looking in other direction to sell and buy accordingly Oil supply.
This has the potential to destabilize glut levels and prices.
Crude Oils upward movement today enabled us to keep are current levels the same compared to our previous report.
If the bulls continue to dominate the Crude Oil market we could see it breaking the $70.57 (R1) resistance level and move even higher towards the $71.42 (R2) resistance level .
This scenario could be most probable as oil prices are most sensitive to developments in the Middle East.
A strong Support line is our $69.30 (S1) Support level which has been tested various times in July and could be a key level in August as the market seems to be holding on to it.
If any evidence of over supply is released within the news, we may see a bearish movement overtake the commodity.
In this case, Crude Oil could break the $69.30 (S1) support level and move even lower towards the $68.43 (S2) support barrier.