Oil posted a modest decline amid signs that supplies are rebounding while concerns linger about demand in China, the world’s biggest crude importer.
(Bloomberg) — Oil posted a modest decline amid signs that supplies are rebounding while concerns linger about demand in China, the world’s biggest crude importer.
West Texas Intermediate futures for October steadied below $80 a barrel as thin summer trading leaves the market struggling for direction. Observed exports from Iran have surged to 2.2 million barrels a day this month, and Turkey and Iraq have held a sudden flurry of talks as they seek to restart a major oil pipeline.
A rally in crude that started in late June has faltered in recent weeks, with futures roughly where they were at the start of the year. Efforts by OPEC+ linchpins Saudi Arabia and Russia to curb production have tightened the market. However, the demand outlook in China is clouded, and there are signs US interest rates will need to stay higher for longer to rein in inflation.
“Call it recession fears, economic headwinds or demand worries — they have been successfully countered by the OPEC+ group supply-management strategy,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM. “Whilst the oil balance could obviously deteriorate, currently there is no reason to believe that global oil consumption would approach, let alone fall below supply.”
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