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Oil falls as banks cut price forecasts

11 July 2017

The expected rise in oil demand in coming weeks has pushed the prices up, Reuters reported citing traders.

So, while oil prices continue to remain stable (for now), their historical propensity to reach for the clouds or mope in the gutter is seemingly stronger than ever. When prices are kept artificially low, it is a boon for oil consumers such as China, Japan and the EU.

Last November, members of OPEC and other oil-producing nations thrashed out an agreement to collectively reduce their daily output by 1.8 million barrels as compared to production in late 2016.

Indian refiners are seeking these heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks after modifications at their plants make it easier to process these types of crudes, which typically sell at a lower cost relative to other oil types. In May 2017 Iran exported 2.1 million b/d. Iran too is exporting more than a year ago.

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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is considering putting a cap on how much oil members Nigeria and Libya can pump, cartel delegates say.

Rising output from Libya and Nigeria is another concern for the market. "OPEC's objective to reduce oil inventories to their five-year average is elusive in the short-term", the bank's head of commodity markets strategy Harry Tchilinguirian said in an emailed report.

Given ongoing oversupply, analysts said that the market was still some way off from finding a closer balance between demand and available supplies. OPEC, however, chose to cut output by 1.8 million b/d.

Opec ministers have sent conflicting signals about what options are on the table, including a possible cap on their surging output.

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Since 1960 when it was formed, OPEC has had an nearly unbreakable grip on the global crude-oil market. “It's a process. That's what supply management means.” It would be an “outlier” if this time they cut only once.

The estimate of USA crude exports comes from PIRA Energy and was reported Monday by the Financial Times.

But it also said: "U.S. gasoline demand may have peaked in absolute terms previous year", adding that it expected no structural tightness once the peak demand summer season was over. Overall, the outlook for crude oil is bearish. We must ponder it because if the oil price exceeds $50, the USA will probably put on sale an additional volume of oil.

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Oil falls as banks cut price forecasts