Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Oil climbs despite Trump’s call for OPEC to reduce pricing

Oil prices climb on tightening US market Trump: Gas prices are up and OPEC ‘doing little to help’
| 06 July, 2018, 03:28

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers will meet Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss how to keep the accord alive after the USA withdrawal from the pact.

The United States will counter the influence of Iran, Saudi Arabia's major regional rival, by imposing tough sanctions.

The implication is that Saudi Arabia wants to keep prices around $75 a barrel and sees that level as sustainable in the medium term.

The president noted that the United States provides security for Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries through the presence of military forces in the region.

Trump tweeted Wednesday: "The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help".

Trump, who is mindful of what impact rising gas prices at station pumps will have on American voters heading into the crunch November midterms, responded on Twitter: "Hope OPEC will increase output substantially".


"We have informed our oil customers that we will only buy their commodities if they buy our crude", Gharekhani said. High fuel prices drain money from consumers' pockets, hurting economic growth while adding to inflation.

From the perspective of the White House, the ideal price is not so low it causes problems for producing states but not so high it hurts consuming states.

In addition to pressing Saudi Arabia to pump as much as 2mmb/d more to an unprecedented 12mmb/d, an amount many doubt the Saudi can maintain for an extended period of time - think Tesla making Model 3s - the Trump administration has also been pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November when the U.S. re-imposes sanctions against Tehran, after Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six major powers. After all, he did the same in 2012 when the average gasoline price climbed over $4 a gallon.

Brent crude futures were changing hands at $78.04 per barrel, up 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their last close.

US crude inventories fell by 4.5 million barrels in the week to June 29 to 416.9 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday. Few thought it would be 1 million bpd or more. The Saudis have increased oil production, following an OPEC meeting last month, but it hasn't been enough to overcome the effects of reduced supplies from other producers.

Trump's pressure on OPEC comes just as key oil exporters were boosting output, which has been curtailed since 2016 to boost prices. "Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!" Long story short, he's anxious that higher prices at the pump will eat away at the savings he imagines are accruing to US consumers as a result of the tax cuts.

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