(Bloomberg) -- Oil was steady near $43 a barrel after the International Energy Agency cut forecasts for global oil demand.Futures in New York edged higher though the agency reduced its estimates for almost every quarter through to the end of next year, citing the muted outlook for air travel. Russia’s energy minister said the market is stabilizing and that OPEC+ plans no sharp moves.Prices have been trading near a five-month high in recent sessions as U.S. crude inventories declined for a third week. While gasoline demand in America is recovering, the picture for oil products has been far more mixed in other corners of the globe as the pandemic continues to spread. The IEA’s report followed those from OPEC and the U.S. Energy Information Administration earlier in the week, both of which included revised views on U.S. oil production.“Three oil market reports are driving one conclusion: caution,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank. “We are not out of the woods just yet and the three all highlight the continued uncertainty in predicting the short-to-near-term future.”In a sign of continued weak demand, a company majority-owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it will shut a 110,000 barrel-a-day refinery in the Philippines. On Wednesday, America’s biggest fuelmaker said it plans to turn one of its refineries into a renewables plant.Iranian forces used two ships and a helicopter to board a tanker called the Wila in international waters, U.S. Central Command said in a tweet on Wednesday. The ship was most recently near the Strait of Hormuz. It was released and the U.S. military was not involved in anything other than monitoring, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified official with knowledge of the matter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency cut forecasts for global oil demand as air travel suffers from the coronavirus crisis even more than previously expected.The IEA reduced estimates for almost every quarter through to the end of 2021, with the second half of this year taking the steepest downgrades. Air travel remained two-thirds lower than last year in July, normally a peak month because of holiday flying, it said in a monthly report.“The outlook for jet fuel demand has worsened in recent weeks as the coronavirus has spread more widely,” said the Paris-based agency, which advises most major economies on energy policy.At the same time, global crude supplies increased last month as Saudi Arabia phased out some of the steepest production cuts it’s been making to offset the demand loss, and as improving prices helped the U.S. and Canada revive some operations.Despite the downgrades, world markets should tighten during the rest of the year as consumption recovers from the depths of the pandemic, while Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations keep output in check, the IEA said. International crude prices climbed to a five-month high above $45 a barrel in London this week.The agency cut global demand estimates for the last two quarters of this year by 500,000 barrels a day, projecting that consumption will average 95.25 million barrels a day in the period.The second-half forecast for jet fuel and kerosene was cut by 380,000 barrels a day, putting demand on track to fall 3.1 million barrels a day this year to 4.8 million a day.The IEA also boosted projections for supplies outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the second half by about 500,000 barrels a day, as the U.S. and Canada restore halted production.As a result, the market won’t tighten during the rest of the year as sharply as anticipated, but it will still tighten.Demand has been above supply since June, and as OPEC and its partners press on with output curbs, world inventories ought to deplete at a rate of about 4 million barrels a day in the last four months of the year. That should pare some of the gigantic stockpile surplus that built up in the first half.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- India’s state-owned oil majors have stopped hiring Chinese tankers to ship their crude and petroleum products after relations deteriorated between the two countries, although the move is unlikely to impact trade flows.China-flagged and owned vessels have been barred from bidding on tenders for chartering tankers to import crude into India, or export products such as diesel out of the country, according to people familiar with the matter. The ban followed India’s implementation last month of regulations on business with nations sharing its border, referring to China and Pakistan without naming them, the people said, asking not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak to the media.The state-run majors are also planning to ask oil traders and suppliers not to send shipments to India using Chinese vessels, they said. The move is poised to further strain relations between two of Asia’s largest economies after a deadly Himalayan border clash left 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops dead. However, India’s oil companies are not expecting a significant hit to trade.Most of the foreign tankers they use or charter are flagged in Liberia, Panama and Mauritius, said two Indian oil executives, asking not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter. The use of Chinese vessels is limited and mostly used in the transport of liquefied petroleum gas, they said.Spokespeople for the three state-owned oil refiners -- Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. -- did not immediately comment on the development.India’s new trade curbs on some of its neighbors is seen aimed primarily at limiting participation of Chinese groups in orders and tenders offered by government-owned companies. India -- which imported goods worth over $70 billion from China in 2019 -- has already banned scores of Chinese mobile phone applications in an attempt to reduce dependence on its products.(Updates with comments from Indian refiners in the fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.