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Oil prices rise as producers confirm output cuts; China data deluge due

Published 06/11/2023, 11:38 am
Updated 07/11/2023, 10:02 am
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- Oil prices rose Monday, rebounding after last week’s hefty losses on the expectation of a tight supply situation for the rest of the year after a couple of major producers reaffirmed their commitment to extra voluntary output cuts.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude for December delivery, settled at $80.82, up 31 cents, or 0.4%.

UK-origin Brent crude for January delivery settled at $85.18, up 29 cents , or 0.3%.

Saudi Arabia/Russia maintain output cuts

Major suppliers Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed on Sunday that they will maintain their ongoing supply reductions until the end of the year, heralding tighter oil markets.

“The confirmation from these producers that they would continue with cuts shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. However, what the market will be more interested in is if they extend these cuts into early 2024,” said analysts at ING, in a note. 

“Our oil balance shows that the market will be in surplus in 1Q24, which may be enough to convince the Saudis and Russians to continue with cuts through the seasonally weaker demand period of Q1.”

Additional supply tightness 

Adding to the potential for further supply tightness, the U.S. oil rig count fell by eight over the last week to 496, according to Baker Hughes data, breaking three consecutive weeks of increases.

“The lack of response from U.S. producers to the current price environment will likely give the Saudis confidence to continue holding supply from the market without the risk of losing a large amount of market share to U.S. producers,” ING added. 

Rebounding from last week’s selloff 

The market is rebounding after both benchmarks lost about 6% last week, as traders priced in a much lower risk premium from the Israel-Hamas war, given that fears of supply disruptions in the Middle East have not materialized. 

Israel has rebuffed mounting international pressure for a ceasefire, but a U.S. diplomatic blitz in the region has so far contributed towards the conflict escalating.

Chinese trade, inflation data on tap

Crude markets were now focused squarely on key economic readings from China, due later in the week. Chinese trade data is due on Tuesday and is expected to provide more cues on commodity demand in the country. 

While China’s oil imports and fuel demand have remained robust this year, the country has been steadily increasing its stockpiles, which could spur a drop in imports over the coming months. Traders also fear a drop in fuel demand, especially if economic conditions worsen.

Inflation data due on Thursday is expected to offer more insight into spending patterns in the world’s largest oil importer, which has been grappling with disinflation in recent months.

While China’s third-quarter GDP grew more than expected, a string of weak readings for October showed that business activity remained laggard, potentially heralding a weaker fourth quarter. 

(Barani Krishnan contributed to this article.)

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