Crude Oil WTI Futures Market News and Commentary
Nov WTI crude oil (CLX19) on Monday closed down by -1.11 (-2.03%), Dec Brent crude oil (CBZ19) closed down -1.16 (-1.92%), and Nov RBOB gasoline (RBX19) closed down -0.0256 (-1.56%). Crude oil prices sold off Monday on a stronger dollar, doubts about the US/Chinese trade deal, and the quick recovery of Saudi Arabia's oil production after the Sep 14 attack on its key oil facility. Saudi Arabia on Monday said that it will keep crude oil exports at 7 million bpd through the end of this year. Saudi Arabia also said that it will pump 9.86 million bpd of oil in October and November, which represents a full recovery from the Sep 11 attack. Another bearish factor was that Cnooc on Monday confirmed that it has restarted its North Sea Buzzard oil field, which had been shut down since Oct 4 to repair pipework. In another bearish factor, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed a cooperation charter, cementing the recent OPEC+ cooperation that has engineered a sharp cut in oil production to support oil prices. Crude oil prices were undercut by Bloomberg report on Monday that said China wants more talks by the end of October to resolve some sticking points before Chinese President Xi will sign last Friday's trade agreement at November's APEC Summit in Santiago, Chile. Bloomberg said that one of its sources also said that China wants President Trump to agree to scrap the December 15 tariff of 15% on $160 billion of Chinese goods as a precondition for a deal, which the U.S. has not yet agreed to do. President Trump has so far agreed to scrap only the hike in the tariff to 30% from 25% on the original $250 billion of Chinese goods that was otherwise due to take effect this Tuesday (Oct 15). Crude oil prices on Monday were also hurt by the weak Chinese trade data, which implied a weaker Chinese economy and weaker Chinese demand for crude oil. China on Sunday night reported that Sep imports fell sharply by -8.5% y/y, which was weaker than expectations of -6.0% y/y and Aug's report of -5.6%. Sep exports fell by -3.2% y/y, which was weaker than expectations of -2.8% and Aug's report of -1.0%. Last Wednesday’s weekly EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of Oct 4 were +1.3% above the seasonal 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +2.3% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -9.5% below the 5-year average. U.S. crude production in the week ended Oct 4 rose +1.6% w/w to a new record high of 12.6 million bpd.