Oil retreats from 2018 highs above $70 a barrel

Reuters

Reuters

Analysts also insist on the possibility of the United States withdrawing from the nuclear pact with Iran, the third largest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a situation that would limit the nation's commercialization capacity in the global oil market.

The contracts, which are open to foreign investors, end years of delays and setbacks since China's first attempt to list crude oil futures in 1993.

Saudi Arabia regained its No. 2 ranking after losing out to Angola in January, with February supplies coming in at 4.635 million tonnes, or 1.21 million bpd, down 2.9 percent on year but up from 1.01 million bpd in January.

Looking further ahead, Wood Mackenzie felt that this would also establish the local regional benchmark for negotiations of spot or term crude oil prices in other markets, such as Japan and South Korea.

Brent volumes have been lower than usual as much of Europe is already on holiday for Easter.

Despite this, there were concerns over regulatory interference, as seen in other Chinese commodities like iron ore and coal. Yuan-based futures will help promote the yuan as a global currency.

"As things stand, it is a question of when, not if, the USA withdraws from the agreement and fires a fresh sanctions salvo towards the OPEC nation", Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd., wrote about the Iran deal.


Over 21 million barrels of the sulphur-rich oil were traded yesterday, reports the Wall Street Journal, meaning RMB18.3 billion ($2.9 billion) changed hands.

"We were active with Glencore today and I've seen Trafigura in it and Freepoint".

While the risk from geopolitics has begun to ease, oil markets were still seeing influence from the wider financial markets, sources said.

Oil traded above $65 a barrel as easing fears of a global trade war offset concerns over rising USA crude stockpiles, boosting prices to near the highest level this year.

Yang Xiaoping, president of BP China, said China's crude oil futures offer companies in the real economy a hedging tool that can better reflect market conditions in Asia. China imports about 600,000 b/d of Oman crude.

The decision to extend the production cuts has seen crude oil prices rising, but a major factor countering efforts by OPEC and Russian Federation is United States oil production which has soared and is fast approaching 10 million bpd. Brent crude futures were at $69.65 per barrel, down 46 cents, or 0.7 per cent.

The price of SC1809 contracts started at 440 yuan per barrel and closed at 429.9 yuan per barrel, which is 3.34 percent higher than the benchmark price. That could complicate efforts to trade spreads between Brent, WTI and Shanghai.

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