26.02.2023 11:56 PM
Global oil market expects supply to fall and demand to rise

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Oil prices were actively rising on Friday, all due to expectations of reduced supplies from Russia and increased demand in China.

Brent crude for April delivery added 0.73% at $82.81 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange at 12:05 London time. As of 7:47 p.m. London time, it was already at $83.12.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery rose by 1.15% to $76.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Investors ignored the change in U.S. oil inventory data released on Thursday. And the report of the Energy Information Administration showed that oil reserves rose by 7.6 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting growth by only 2 million barrels.

The fact that since the beginning of the year, oil reserves have been significantly growing in the US speaks of the problems of its demand in the domestic market. The fall in demand is one of the harbingers of the coming slowdown in the U.S. economy. But, as we already noted, the oil market has not paid any special attention to this fact yet.

But the decision of the Russian authorities to reduce oil exports from Western ports in March has a much more significant meaning for the traders. According to statements of Russian officials, there are plans to cut the volume of crude exported from Russia by a significant 25%. The implementation of these plans may lead to a decrease in production by more than 500,000 barrels per day.

At the same time, the export of oil and fuel oil from Russia to China reached the highest level since April 2020 at 1.66 million barrels per day. Crude oil and condensate supplies increased to 1.52 million barrels. In addition to this, everyone expects an active recovery in the growth rate of the Chinese economy after the lifting of quarantine restrictions. At the same time, the discount policy of the Russian authorities can't help but please the Asian partners.

However, the Urals to Brent Crude Oil price difference may decrease in the near future due to the changes in the national legislation in terms of the mineral extraction tax and excise tax on oil. The proposed discount from April may go down from $34 to $25 per barrel.

There is speculation that the projected increase in the price of Urals oil could further cut hydrocarbon exports from Russia. If this assumption materializes, the volume of extracted oil will become even smaller, which may eventually result in a serious supply shortage on the world market. In other words, oil prices could rise significantly.

Andreeva Natalya,
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