Published: Wed, August 07, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Oil down over 1% as trade war concerns hit demand outlook

Oil down over 1% as trade war concerns hit demand outlook

The announcement extended the United States tariffs to almost all imported Chinese products.

Thailand was the top U.S. crude oil buyer in Southeast Asia this year, importing 72,499 b/d over H1 2019, up more than threefold from 18,149 b/d received a year earlier, according to data from the Customs Department.

Brent crude futures had risen 10 cents, or 0.17 per cent, to $59.91 a barrel by 0149 GMT after earlier dipping to their lowest since mid-January at $59.07.

The US also responded to a decline in the Chinese yuan on Monday by branding the country a currency manipulator.

Russia, the supplier of light and medium sweet crude grades including ESPO Blend, Sakhalin Blend and Sokol, was the second biggest crude import source for China during H1 2019.

Crude oil prices jumped Friday, a partial rebound from their biggest daily drop in several years a day earlier on President Trump's vow to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports, Kallanish Energy reports.

The plunges came following significant gains last Friday, when US oil futures rose 1.71 dollars and Brent crude climbed 1.39 dollars.

In October 2018, Brent crude hit a record high of $86.74 per barrel, a development that spurred the Federal Executive Council to peg the price of crude oil for the budget at $60 per barrel, up from $50.5 for the 2018 budget. Trump on Tuesday dismissed concerns over a protracted trade war with China, as Beijing warned that Washington's decision the day before would lead to chaos in financial markets.

Signs of rising oil exports from the United States add to pressure on prices; US shipments surged by 260K bbl/day in June to a monthly record of 3.16M bbl/day, USA government data showed on Friday. China being the largest importer of US' agricultural products was one of the major reasons that the analysts feared might affect the latter, following the 2020 presidential elections in the US.

Iran will no longer tolerate "maritime offences" in the Strait of Hormuz, its foreign minister said on Monday.

China imported 2.12 million mt of crude oil from the U.S. in the first half of 2019, down 76.2% from 8.92 million mt received over the same period a year earlier, GAC data showed.

Crude oil prices slumped further on Monday, as traders focused on a deteriorating demand outlook.

Oil prices were expected to be range-bound near current levels this year as slowing economic growth and a protracted trade dispute curb demand, a Reuters monthly poll showed, squeezing gains stemming from production curbs and Middle East tensions.

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