The World Bank has downgraded Russia’s economic growth forecasts this year, from 1.2% to 1%, and GDP growth next year from 1.8% to 1.7%. The forecast for 2021 remains unchanged, at 1.8%. The bank said “the slowdown stems from multiple factors, which are compounded by the continuation of international economic sanctions.”
If oil demand is down so much due to the China trade war and tariffs, how come the more economically sensitive materials, such as copper, have not felt the same economic downward price effects?
Today China has asked it’s refineries to hold off on placing new orders for crude oil imports in anticipation of lower prices once and if demand stalls further. The Chinese buyers have cut off purchases of U.S. crude oil as the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington continues.
- Trump aims to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero by ending sanctions exemptions that it previously granted to some of the Islamic Republic’s biggest customers.
- Saudi Arabia is ready to start pumping more oil if the United States indeed ends the sanction waivers they granted eight Iranian oil importers last November, citing a source that remained unnamed, but Riyadh will not rush into a reversal of the cuts. It will first examine the effect of the sanction waiver cancellation before it decides how to respond to it.
- Oil dominates Venezuela’s economy, accounting for almost all of its export earnings. Its biggest customers have been the US, followed by India and China. But over the past decade, oil production and prices has collapsed and the country is in a deep economic crisis.
- The President of Venezuela’s opposition-dominated National Assembly Juan Guaido will announce new boards of directors for state oil company PDVSA and its U.S. business, Citgo, UPI reports. U.S. Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the he’ll hold PDVSA’s proceeds from crude oil sales to the United States, adding that the company could avoid being sanctioned if it recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
- Saudi Arabia is determined to restore the balance on the oil market and is cutting deeper than required in the OPEC+ deal, with February crude production likely close to 10.1 million bpd, compared to the 10.3-million-bpd ceiling in the production cut agreement.