Oil slips after US output hits record, crude stocks rise

Workers at an onshore Iranian oil facility

Forecasters are knocking down their projections for oil demand due to concerns about global economic growth because of Trump's trade dispute with China and currency weakness in emerging markets.

The cost of the futures on WTI for December on the electronic session on the NY Mercantile exchange (NYMEX) decreased by this time $0,76 (1,25%) to $59,91 per barrel.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $70.69 a barrel, 4 cents above their last close.

Once more, the USA granting leniency to countries wanting to import oil from Iran caused crude prices on Wednesday to tumble, this time by almost 1 percent - and with oil now at an 8 month low, nobody is more satisfied than US president Donald Trump, who insists his hawkish global stance is responsible for giving motorists a break at the pump.

The sanctions aim to further isolate Iran by choking off its main source of revenue - oil exports - by imposing sanctions on countries and companies that do not end their imports.

And India, which is Iran's second largest customer, is expected to continue importing around 300,000 barrels per day, representing up to two-thirds of what it buys on an average daily basis. However, the Trump administration granted temporary sanctions exemptions to eight countries, allowing Iranian crude exports to continue and easing concern about undersupply. The previous daily record of 9.6 million bpd was touched in April 2018.

Iran's oil minister on Thursday predicted a painful time ahead for worldwide oil customers as USA sanctions take hold, saying waivers that Washington granted to eight major oil-importing countries are not enough for market demands.

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America has already overtaken Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest producer and figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggest it was averaging 11.6 million barrels per day last week. He said the US has evidence that Iranian vessels are trying to evade USA sanctions by disabling location transponders used to prevent collisions.

Meanwhile, Opec's production in October reached the highest level since 2016, and Russian Federation hiked its output last month to a post-Soviet record of 11.4 million barrels a day.

Crude futures are poised for their fifth straight week of losses as growing output from key producers and a deteriorating outlook for oil demand deepen a sell-off spurred by October's broader market sell-off.

Oil markets initially rebounded on Wednesday from their lowest level since August after reports emerged of plans by leading producers Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia to curtail production next year to reverse a recent price plunge. It makes the U.S. the world's biggest producer of crude.

Crude has tumbled nearly 20% since touching a four-year high last month as bearish supply signals around the globe crowded out concerns about disrupted exports from Iran and Venezuela.

With output overall rising, supply is ample despite the Iran sanctions now in place, prompting rumblings within the Middle East dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) that renewed supply cuts may be needed next year to prevent a glut. "OPEC and Russian Federation may use cuts to support $70 per barrel", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

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