Brent crude oil hits a new high in more than two years, the road to the restart of the Iran nuclear agreement adds more variables
On Wednesday (June 9), international oil prices rose for the second consecutive trading day. There are signs that Western countries have strong fuel demand. In addition, the US Secretary of State said that sanctions against Iran are unlikely to be lifted, and the prospects for Iran’s oil supply recovery are bleak.
At 16:04 Beijing time, NYMEX crude oil futures rose 0.43% to 70.35 US dollars per barrel; ICE Brent crude oil futures rose 0.40% to 72.51 US dollars per barrel. The two cities respectively refreshed their highs since October 17, 2018 to 70.62 US dollars/barrel and their highs since May 20, 2019 to 72.83 US dollars/barrel.
Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX in Singapore, said: “Improving demand outlook seems to be supporting crude oil prices as the successful vaccination in the US and Europe and the summer driving season continue to support fuel demand.”
ANZ Research said in a research report that recent traffic data show that as restrictions have been relaxed, tourists have travelled in droves. It refers to TomTom data showing that traffic congestion in 15 European cities has reached the highest level since the outbreak.
Another positive sign is that industry data showed that US crude oil inventories fell last week, in line with the survey’s analyst expectations. According to data released by the American Petroleum Institute (API), US crude oil inventories fell by 2.108 million barrels last week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday (June 8) that fuel consumption in the United States is expected to increase by 1.49 million barrels per day this year, which is higher than the previously estimated increase of 1.39 million barrels. EIA will release its weekly inventory report at 2230 Beijing time on Wednesday.
Due to progress in the negotiations between Iran and Western powers on the resumption of the nuclear agreement, oil investors have always believed that the United States will lift sanctions on Iran this year and Iran’s oil supply will increase, so the price increase will be limited in mid-to-late May.
However, US Secretary of State Blinken said on Tuesday that even if Iran and the United States resume compliance with the nuclear agreement, hundreds of US sanctions against Tehran will still be effective. This may mean that more Iranian oil supplies will not return to the market anytime soon.
Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group, said: “Blinken saw the reality and said that even if we do reach an agreement, there is still a long way to go, and all those who are looking forward to a surge in supply will be disappointed.”
The United States told Iran on Tuesday that it must allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue to monitor Iran’s activities, otherwise the resumption of broader negotiations on the Iranian nuclear agreement will be affected. Prior to this, the supervision agreement between IAEA and Iran was extended to June 24.
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