Fuel prices expected to climb as Trump leaves Iran deal

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Reuters OPEC is more focused on identifying the right level of oil inventory at its next meeting, than the impact on supplies of new US sanctions on Iran, the United Arab Emirates said.

USA trade policy and sanctions are fueling that uncertainty at a time when there are concerns that rising interest rates, especially in the United States, could crimp economic growth, OPEC said.

Although it is early days, demand for Iranian crude in China and India is likely to remain very strong despite the sanctions, although refiners in Europe, South Korea and Japan are likely to tread more carefully.

"Russian and Chinese firms in particular may still be willing to invest in Iran, but if sanctions result in excess capacity at existing fields, there will be little economic rationale to support new developments".

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The United States has announced it will impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, raising fears that markets will face shortages later this year when trade restrictions take effect. OPEC also boosted its forecast for demand this year while trimming its outlook for global oil production.

"The US decision to end all nuclear-related sanctions waivers for Iran will smooth the re-entry of (previously) cut OPEC, non-OPEC barrels to market in 2019 (as) it will allow OPEC and Russian Federation to shift their narratives on production from restraint to growth, without derailing the global recovery in oil prices", BMI Research said in a note. It pointed specifically to new sanctions on Russian Federation, tariffs on Chinese goods and steel and aluminum imports, continued trade negotiations with China and NAFTA and President Donald Trump 's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last week.

"That absolute plunge in Venezuelan production. just highlights how tenuous the market is in terms of the supply-and-demand balance", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC. However, OPEC added a caveat in its latest monthly report, saying inventories are still 258 million barrels above levels in January 2014, the year oil prices crashed.

The global oil picture has dramatically changed in the past year.

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Following a contraction in 2016, "non-Opec oil supply has seen a recovery in 2017 and 2018".

Non-Opec production remained flat for the second month at 58.6 million barrel per day in March because of higher production from the USA and the North Sea region, which was offset by other non-Opec members.

The daily price chart is more mixed, however, with the completion of a Doji Star Bearish Reversal candle last Thursday.

OPEC also stated: "the price of OPEC basket of 14 crudes stood at $74.42 a barrel on Friday, compared with $74.46 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations". The observations he makes are his own and are not intended as trading or investment advice.

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