Trump gets oil traders' attention over call with Saudi king

King Salman

With the U.S., Canada and Mexico finally reaching a new trade deal, the market sentiment improved on Monday to boost the demand for commodities and help crude oil preserve its bullish momentum.

More fundamentally, oil markets have been pushed up by looming USA sanctions against Iran's oil industry, which, at its most recent peak this year, supplied nearly 3% of the world's almost 100-million barrels of daily consumption. The market was expecting a production increase decision from OPEC as the current export levels of Iran were about 35 percent below as compared with its oil export in April.

Oil extended gains after the longest quarterly rally in a decade as a slowdown in American drilling added to supply risks while the USA and Saudi Arabia discussed market stability.

Brent for December settlement increased 51 cents at $83.24 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

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Projections must take into account a host of factors - from world economic growth, refinery operations and changing fuel use patterns on the demand side, to investment patterns, rates of mature oilfield decline, weather, politics, war and OPEC on the supply side. "We want them to stop raising prices. Otherwise, the price differentials between the two major oil benchmarks will not narrow down".

Traders are hunting for the price threshold that forces one of those developments.

The US President Donald Trump reviewed on Saturday in a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud the oil supply for stability of the market, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member and the third biggest producer, has faced difficulty in replacing export losses from Iran. Trump has gone after OPEC multiple times this year, including while speaking at the United Nations on Tuesday.

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The recent rise in oil prices confirms closely to the traditional boom-bust pattern. As a result, more USA crude oil would be shipped to Asian market. The market is rarely balanced or in equilibrium except by accident and not usually for very long.

Towards the end of the year, "LIFO", know as Last In First Out, an accounting practice among companies to draw down inventories to avoid taxes on barrels of oil remaining at the end of the year, "can cause some selling in the markets", he said.

By that point, prices will already be close to peaking, extra OPEC and non-OPEC supplies will come too late, with consumption already slowing, and add to the subsequent slump.

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