International oil markets are signaling short-term weak spot forward of the EU ban on Russian oil

NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) – International oil markets are signaling a possible turnaround, as merchants and analysts fear about waning crude demand and an oversupplied market within the coming months.

After months of energy, crude oil futures edged decrease not seen all yr as prime oil consumer China entered further COVID-19 shutdowns whereas the central financial institution raised rates of interest to combat inflation.

International oil futures final week traded weaker than futures contracts, whereas costs for bodily crude grades around the globe have declined, market contributors mentioned.

“The divergence confirms what the stay costs present – there’s a demand deficit and/or a provide surplus,” mentioned Tamas Varga of oil dealer PVM.

The gloomier setting comes at a troublesome time for markets. On December 5, the European Union’s ban on Russian crude oil imports will start, together with plans by G7 international locations to power shippers to stick to cost caps on Russian oil gross sales.

In the meantime, OPEC+ – a grouping of the Group of the Petroleum Exporting International locations (OPEC) and allied producers together with Russia – will meet to think about manufacturing ranges on Dec. 4.

The change is obvious within the construction of the market – the comparability of short-dated contracts versus longer-dated contracts. Up to now week, crude futures contracts have traded out and in of contango, the place the commodity’s spot value is decrease than the futures value, indicating short-term weak spot.

US crude futures for the subsequent month traded as a lot as 38 cents weaker than the second-month contract, the weakest distinction since November 2020, Refinitiv Eikon information confirmed. The futures contract for worldwide benchmark Brent traded as little as 6 cents under a second month, the weakest since August.

The month-to-month unfold for Dubai’s December and January exchanges turned contango final week for the primary time in a yr and a half.


In China, merchants fear about oversupply if China and India proceed to import massive quantities of discounted Russian oil. On the similar time, further COVID restrictions are anticipated to have an effect on demand.

Angolan and different West African crude oil affords to China, a serious buyer, are a barometer of bodily crude demand from that nation. China’s Unipec, the world’s prime oil dealer, is providing on the market some crude supply cargoes due in December, in a uncommon signal of waning curiosity.

In the meantime, Norway’s Equinor this week provided a cargo of Angolan Pazflor crude at a reduction of $2.50 a barrel to dated Brent, down greater than a greenback on the week. The spot value for crude oil from Oman – a serious provider to China – has fallen to 82 cents in opposition to Dubai crude from a excessive of $15.06 a barrel in early March.


Oil storage in some areas is growing, mentioned Norbert Rucker, head of economics and next-generation analysis at Swiss wealth supervisor Julius Baer.

As well as, European refiners have discovered themselves oversupplied with crude oil as anticipated shortages because of the rising EU ban on Russian oil have but to materialize. learn once more

The premium for Forties-dated Brent North Sea crude oil hit an all-time excessive of $5.40 in July, however has narrowed sharply to only 75 cents this week. Forties often set the dated Brent worth.

In america, WTI Midland costs have weakened to only a 20 cent premium to crude futures, down from a premium of greater than $2 a couple of month in the past. That is despite the fact that inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, a serious storage hub in america, are at their lowest stage in two months.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York, Muyu Xu in Singapore, Noah Browning and Alex Lawler in London and Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Modifying by Kenneth Maxwell

Our Requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

Stephanie Kelly

Thomson Reuters

New York-based journalist masking US crude oil markets and member of the vitality staff since 2018 masking oil and gasoline markets and federal coverage on renewable fuels.

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