Written on: April 9, 2018

Crude and Refined Oil Edge Higher on Monday

Monday, April 9, 2018

Crude oil and refined products are edging higher on Monday, amid weakness in the US dollar index (which was depreciating by 0.13% as of this writing) and strength in global equities amid supportive economic data releases, despite continued tensions in US-China trade relations. Market participants looked ahead to the Bank of Canada’s quarterly business outlook survey for further direction.

In Supply-side News

Motiva Enterprises is studying the possibility to increase its Port Arthur refinery’s capacity, to between 1 – 1.5 million barrels per day from a current 603,000 bpd processing rate, which would be supportive for crude but unsupportive for products. The Port Arthur refinery in Texas is the country’s largest refinery.

In Other News

Reuters reported that Kinder Morgan Canada suspended work on a $5.8 billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project due to protests. The company said that it would drop a plan to expand the pipeline, which transports crude from Alberta’s oil sands to a facility in the Pacific province of British Columbia, if legal obstacles persist by end of May.

According to Reuters, Iraq has kept official selling price steady for May deliveries of its Basra Light crude to Asian markets.

U.S.- China Relations

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration signaled that it is open for negotiations with China as an effort to ease a potential trade war. However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said that the US is “prepared to aggressively defend its interests” if China fails to implement “free and fair reciprocal” trade practices.

Crude Futures Fell on Friday

Crude complex futures fell across the board on Friday, along with losses in US equity indexes amid news that President Trump might impose an additional $100 billion tariffs on Chinese imports to the US and largely unsupportive economic data releases. China said it would fight back aggressively if the US followed through with its additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Baker Hughes reported an increase of 11 in the US oil rig count, to 808.