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Crude prices are spiking

24 September 2018

At 1108 GMT, November WTI Crude Oil futures are trading $71.93, up $1.13 or +1.56% and December Brent Crude Oil futures are trading $79.98, up $1.74 or +2.22%.

Brent crude climbed above US$80 a barrel to its highest level since November 2014 and West Texas Intermediate has been trading more than two per cent higher Monday after OPEC and its allies signaled less urgency to boost output, despite USA pressure to temper prices.

Crude oil futures have spiked in early Asian trade, gaining more than 1%.

This time, the deepening trade war between the US and China threatens economic growth in Asia and turmoil in emerging countries could amplify the impact of higher prices on global demand growth.

According to a majority of 200 energy industry executives polled in the UAE last week, Brent crude oil will end 2018 at above $75 a barrel, the highest year-end price in four years.

Although he refrained from specifying how that could be done, Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with significant spare capacity.

"Our plan is to meet demand", said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. With upside momentum picking up, we expect to hear more criticism from President Trump, but other than some light profit-taking, his comments are not likely to have much of an effect on the price action. Brent crude may spike to over US$100 in the fourth quarter because the market doesn't have much capacity left to replace Iranian supplies, Mercuria co-founder Daniel Jaeggi said at the annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore on Monday.

While viewing high demand as healthy, the organisation noted that the trend was fuelled by developing countries undergoing major demographic and general economic expansion.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday that "we protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We in Saudi Arabia have not seen demand for any additional barrel that we did not produce".

The weekend terrorist attack in Iran could be more important to oil prices than Sunday's OPEC meeting, as the attack could exacerbate a rivalry in the most crucial oil-producing region in the world, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said on Sunday.

Also Sunday, OPEC released its World Oil Outlook 2040 report.

"OPEC is struggling to battle through a flawless storm of strong demand and bigger-than-expected supply losses", said Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari, Commodity Strategists at ANZ Bank last week.

Crude prices are spiking