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Oil slips as trade worries weigh on market

10 August 2018

USA crude production has climbed dramatically, fueled largely by increased output from shale formations, but may now rise more slowly as prices drop.

Iran is the third-largest producer among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

The market has become volatile as concerns over political threats to supplies, such... OPEC and Russian Federation reported an increase in their output by 300,000 and 150,000 barrels per day in July, respectively.

Saudi Arabia's crude production dropped about 200,000 bpd last month, two sources at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Friday, despite a pledge by the Saudis and top producer Russian Federation to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia promising a "measurable" supply boost.

The Vienna conference on 23 June 2018 decided the oil-producing would endorse a normal output rise of one million barrels crude oil each day.

India first imported U.S. crude oil in October previous year and has since then oil firms have been buying oil from that country on a tender basis.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures was down $2.52, 3.4 percent, at $72.13 a barrel by 11:51 a.m. ET (1551 GMT).

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Prices drew some support from USA sanctions against Iran, introduced Tuesday in a range of sectors. The trading price ranged between US$76.11 per barrel, and US$69.71 per barrel. At the same time, President Donald Trump restored some American sanctions on Iran and has reaffirmed plans to impose tougher penalties on the nation's oil sales in November. The official selling price for Oman crude oil during July 2018, for the delivery month of September 2018, settled at US$73.17, lower by US$0.44 only compared with June trading prices.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Looking at the rhetorical battle between the United States and China recently, it may appear that finding a clue to resolve (the trade war) is impossible", said Lee Seunghoon, an analyst at Meritz Securities Co.in Seoul, South Korea.

The August total is also likely to be just above the 9.65 million barrels imported over the first seven months, showing the scale of acceleration in India's imports of U.S. crude. "Refiner demand for crude oil remains high, however, as does consumer demand for gasoline".

China is rather looking to compensate for the decline in demand that Iran sees in its oil as other nations might halt imports amid USA threats.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a basket of other currencies, was lower 0.2 percent at 94.87 on Wednesday.

Market analysts warned that oil prices could surpass $90 if Iranian supplies of around 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) are disrupted.

Oil slips as trade worries weigh on market