U.S. and China on brink of trade war, oil markets tense

Oil Prices Up on Weak US Crude Inventory

Oil prices inch up in face of tight market

US crude futures added 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $74.09, Reuters reports.

Crude oil prices went up on Monday during the Asian session due to the tight market after last week's U.S. crude oil reserves dropped to its lowest levels for more than three years.

It shows the year-on-year percentage growth in U.S. non-farm payrolls, splitting the results by oil and non-oil producing states.

Cutting Iran out from oil trading comes amid other disruptions.

The United States and China have started a trade war on Friday, introducing bilateral tariffs worth 34 billion Dollars, while not showing willingness to start talks with a view to reaching a ceasefire.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $77.33 a barrel.

How close is China to imposing the tariff on USA crude oil?

USA crude futures slipped on Thursday after data showed an unexpected 1.3-million-barrel build in crude inventories.

"Things will get worse before they get better on trade... between the USA and China", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

The concerns that oil prices will fall due to the US-China trade conflict have nearly disappeared.

Taiwan says two US warships pass through Taiwan Strait
Two United States warships entered the Taiwan Strait on Saturday at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Although the USA does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and top arms supplier.

In an early sign of future times, an executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group, an independent refiner from Shandong province, said his refinery had already cancelled US crude orders.

"If China imposes tariffs, their refineries won't buy USA crude since it would cost more", Sandy Fielden, director of research for commodities and energy at Morningstar Inc., said by telephone.

An additional fact to consider: Tariffs would make US oil uncompetitive in China.

The tightness at Cushing and the potential increase in Gulf exports "both have implications for how quickly the prompt overhang in the market can clear, and thus provide some direction for prices", Chauhan said.

Oil prices rose on Monday as increased global demand and US efforts to shut out Iranian output using sanctions outweighed drilling data suggesting USA shale production would climb.

Energy consultancy FGE this week issued a stark warning of looming supply shortages due to US sanctions against Iran and also because of disruptions elsewhere.

South Korea is reported to have stopped importing Iran's oil and condensate in what appears to be a temporary halt until the country obtains an exemption from USA curbs on buying Iranian oil.

The Korean government, the sources said, had pressured refiners into suspending orders for July shipments of Iranian crude, which is the first time this has happened since 2012, Reuters notes.

"Venezuela.will lose another 400,000 bpd by year-end with production going to below 1 million bpd", FGE said, adding that another 300,000 bpd of Libyan capacity was disrupted.

In addition to reducing the price of its August barrels, Saudi Arabia also told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that it increased production by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month.

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