Oil Futures Up on Waning Tariff Fears

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest to delivery traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange settled higher Friday, though were down on the week, following an easing of trade concerns with China and amid industry reports projecting increased global oil demand for the remainder of this year and next.

NYMEX West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery settled 82 cents higher on the day at $67.37 per barrel (bbl), though traded off $0.86 bbl on the week. While up on the day, current WTI remains at the lowest levels on the spot continuation chart since June 21.

ICE October Brent crude settled 74 cents higher at $72.81 bbl, though off 0.54% on the week.

NYMEX September RBOB gasoline settled up 3.93 cents at $2.0392 gallon, and down 2.63 cents on the week, and September ULSD posted a 2.78-cent advance, closing at $2.1397 gallon, and closed the week up 1.28 cents.

Paris-based International Energy Agency projected in its monthly Oil Market Report that global oil demand could increase by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) for the remainder of 2018 to 99.1 million bpd, driven by a 1.8-million-bpd jump in demand growth during the first quarter. IEA forecast 2019 demand to grow 1.5 million bpd, revised up 110,000 bpd from its July estimate "partly influenced by the downward move of the forward price curve."

The Aug. 7 start of economic sanctions on Iran will cut its ability to transact in U.S. dollar denominations and is expected to further slash Iran's oil exports as countries begin to pull back from trade under fear of financial punishment from the U.S. Oil sanctions that go into effect Nov. 4 are expected to reduce Iran's exports by 500,000 bpd to 1 million bpd. Recent OPEC data shows a June oil output at 3.799 million bpd, off 2.1 million bpd, or 0.31%, from 2017's 3.811 million bpd production, while market watchers estimate Iran's July exports at between 2.7 million bpd and 3.0 million bpd.

Brian Whary can be reached at brian.whary@dtn.com