Sanction waivers and economic concerns weigh on oil prices

6 November 2018 (Last Updated November 6th, 2018 10:20)

US waivers allowing certain countries to keep buying Iranian crude and concerns over the negative impact of a potential economic slowdown on the demand for fuel have influenced global oil prices.

Sanction waivers and economic concerns weigh on oil prices
On the supply-side, market is supported by increasing production from the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Credit: Andrea Wright.

US waivers allowing certain countries to keep buying Iranian crude and concerns over the negative impact of a potential economic slowdown on the demand for fuel have influenced global oil prices.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 declined 48 cents, or 0.7%, to stand at $72.69 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 dropped 24 cents, or 0.4%, to reach $62.86, Reuters reported.

Analysts opined that the fuel demand outlook is being affected by expectations of a global economic slowdown in the near future.

Meanwhile, on the supply front, worries were eased after the US Administration granted waivers against sanctions on Iranian oil imports to eight nations, including Japan, Italy, and Turkey.

The move allows these countries to continue purchasing oil from Tehran for a period of 180 days.

“China will be able to import around 360,000bpd from Iran during the waiver period.”

It is estimated that Iran’s crude exports for this month could drop to around one million barrels per day (bpd).

However, traders and analysts projected that the exports could increase again from next month following the exemptions granted to some of the biggest importers of Iranian oil.

The news agency reported that China will be able to import around 360,000bpd from Iran during the waiver period, while Platts stated that South Korea can purchase around 130,000bpd.

As markets had already factored in the impact of Iran sanctions, futures brokerage FXTM market research head Jameel Ahmad said he would ‘instead focus more heavily on the global demand outlook because of the ongoing external uncertainties weighing down on economic prospects’.

Ahmad also stated that a slowdown in economic and fuel demand growth poses a greater risk for oil over the coming months.

Despite the enforcement of US sanctions, markets continue to be well supplied as the world’s biggest oil producers, namely Russia, the US and Saudi Arabia, have been raising output.

Combined production from these countries increased to more than 33Mbpd for the first time in October.