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Oil prices keep rising, experts foresee $100 a barrel

Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, China December 7, 2018.
Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, China December 7, 2018. Copyright CHINA STRINGER NETWORK/REUTERS
By Doloresz Katanich with Reuters
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After a short pause last week, oil prices are on the rise again fuelled by Russia's temporary ban.


Oil prices rose further on Monday morning as investors focused on a tighter supply outlook after Moscow issued a temporary ban on fuel exports. 

Brent crude futures climbed 71 cents, or 0.76%, to $93.98 a barrel by 10:00 CET after settling 3 cents lower on Friday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures extended gains for a second session, trading at $90.63 a barrel, up 60 cents, or 0.67%. 

"Crude oil prices have started the week on the front foot, as the market continues to digest Russia's temporary ban on diesel and gasoline exports, into an already tight market, offset with the Fed's hawkish message that rates will stay higher for longer," IG Markets analyst Tony Sycamore said.

Oil prices fell about 1% to a one-week low on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, but projected further rate increase by the end of the year.

An almost uninterrupted rise in oil prices in the past months keeps fuelling inflation in the US and the EU and could make further rate hikes necessary. 

High rates could dampen demand and prices as a consequence. The Fed's projection therefore snapped a three-week rally of more than 10% after Saudi Arabia and Russia constrained supply by extending production cuts to the end of the year.

But Moscow's announcement last week, temporarily banning gasoline and diesel exports to most countries, has had a strong effect on market expectations. A growing number of analysts think oil could hit $100 a barrel, for the first time in 13 months. 

Russia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of diesel, therefore the announcement came with a jump in diesel prices in Europe, and fanned concerns of low supply, especially for heating oil, a derivative of diesel, as the Northern Hemisphere heads into winter.

Diesel is particularly important for the global economy, playing a crucial role in shipping and aviation.

In a positive sign, the world's second-largest economy China's oil demand increased 0.3 million barrels per day to 16.3 million last week, partly due to a gradual recovery in jet fuel demand for international flights, they added.

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