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09 November 2018, 01:54 | Hattie Nash
Workers at an onshore Iranian oil facility
USA oil flirted with bear market territory on Thursday as investor concerns about overproduction sent prices lower. That put WTI down 20.6% from its October 3 high, officially meeting the definition of a bear market.
"The introduction of U.S. sanctions earlier this week against Iran failed to lift the market given the announcement that eight countries, including three of the world's biggest importers, would receive waivers to carry on buying Iranian crude for up to six months", Hansen said.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery traded 6 cents lower at $60.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:20 p.m.in Singapore. Instinet technical analyst Frank Cappelleri observed that the last time crude experienced a 20% peak-to-trough correction was in 2017, but it took crude almost six months to accomplish that feat.
Italy and Greece have completely suspended purchases in recent weeks.
But a short-term pop to $80 per barrel crude could be coming, say oil experts.
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Reuters technical commodity analyst Wang Tao said on Friday that "Brent oil may slide further into a range of $68.59-$69.69 per barrel".
"Iran's situation is better than pre-2016 because of high oil prices and the fact that the United States is isolated this time", the report by Reuters quoted a European diplomat as saying.
On November 5, the United States imposed what the Trump administration has touted as the "toughest ever" sanctions on Iran.
"After extensive consideration, the United States has provided an exception under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act to allow #Afghanistan to continue to import petroleum products from Iran and for shipment of non-sanctionable goods through #Chabahar Port for Afg", tweeted Bass. The waivers, he notes, are temporary and growth in demand is "likely underestimated". From then, to pleading for a waiver by accepting United States terms to reduce oil imports from Iran by a third before sanctions came into place on November 5, reveals a steady succumbing to U.S. pressure. That initially helped keep crude oil prices at multiyear highs, but as Washingtongranted waivers to the biggest buyers including China, India, and South Korea, investors turned sour on light and sweet.
The Chabahar Port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among the three countries after Pakistan denied transit access to India. Perhaps that will come from Libya and Nigeria, which are heading into elections that could lead to sustained periods of instability, further disrupting oil supplies.
Early on Monday the U.S. imposed its "toughest ever" sanctions on Iran that it had earlier lifted after the signing of the nuclear agreement in July, 2015 between Tehran and Russia, China, the UK, France, Germany and the US.
The US has also granted waivers to nearly all key clients of Iran's crude oil for fear of further hikes in oil prices.
That means a short-term rally, if it materializes, could be last-call for oil bulls.
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