Oil prices volatile after reaching high for this year

Crude oil

US oil settles 0.6% higher at $58.61 a barrel, hits 4-month high

"While oil demand is expected to grow at a moderate pace in 2019, it is still well below the strong growth expected in the non-OPEC supply forecast for this year".

Continued supply reductions would further support oil prices, which are up about 25 percent this year at $68 a barrel, and incur the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who has demanded OPEC ease its efforts to bolster the market.

Summarizing Friday's performance was Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group: "The market is taking a pause as it tries to digest mixed reports that give us different ideas of future supply and demand". This led to the US taking a number of steps in the 1980s to take away OPEC's monopoly in determining oil prices, and the USA has strengthened global commodity markets with Chicago and NY.

Even so, with the demand for OPEC crude forecast at 30.46 million bpd, the report indicates that the market would still face a small 2019 surplus if OPEC kept pumping at February's rate, as rivals such as the United States boost output.

Venezuela's oil industry is at risk of collapsing due the problems with the economy and power grid, according to the International Energy Agency.

Oil prices rose yesterday, driven by OPEC's current production restrictions and United States sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

"Geopolitics has added another complication to the global oil market", said the IEA.

Meanwhile, a weekly report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell last week as refineries hiked output. We will observe the economic-political consequences of the USA cornering Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela in the global oil game.

"At the same time, (OPEC) production cuts have increased the spare capacity cushion".

Also during the reporting period, Azerbaijan exported nearly 92.57 thousand tons of oil products in the amount of $ 48.5 million.

The agency also said rising United States output was providing comfort to world markets. With increasing competition, the global demand for OPEC production will not return to pre-2016 levels during the period in question.

Futures advanced 4.4 per cent this week in NY and settled Friday just pennies off a four-month high, reported Bloomberg.

While trying to make sense of these mixed messages (which are helped along by dramatic media headlines that often don't reflect the messages themselves) may be near impossible, Goldman Sachs in a note on Friday blew apart the notion in many analytical quarters of oil demand weakening by stating that demand in fact grew by 1.55 million barrels per day (bpd) in January alone, a strong result despite a tough comparison with high consumption a year ago. Involuntary production declines from the coalition's members including Venezuela and Iran have further squeezed supplies.

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