Crude palm oil futures fall 0.75% on profit-booking

Crude palm oil futures fall 0.75% on profit-booking

The WSJ points outthat it was probably the worst loss of oil production in a single year in recent history - Russia's production fell by 23 percent after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Iraq lost roughly the same percentage after the US invasion in 2003.

China, which past year overtook the United States as the world's top oil importer, will see the pace of crude output declines from its old, high-cost fields continue and capital expenditures shift more toward natural gas assets, according to Jefferies Group LLC, Wood Mackenzie Ltd and Energy Aspects Ltd.

After falling the previous week due to cold weather, USA crude production rose 258,000 barrels per day to 9.75 million bpd last week. That's their lowest seasonal level in three years and below the five-year average marker around 420 million barrels.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the amount of crude oil in storage declined by 6.9 million barrels in the week ended January 12, exceeding analyst expectations on average for a 2.3 million barrel draw.

Oil prices kept stable on Wednesday. While their quotas, coupled with robust global demand, tighten the market, the crude oil prices rose to a three-year high of about 70 Dollars per barrel.

The scale of the buying has left positions looking very stretched on many measures and prices vulnerable to a correction if fund managers try to realise some of their paper profits. That's prompted warnings - from Iran's oil minister to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. - of a fresh surge in US production, wrecking all of OPEC's hard work.

Given the huge oil surplus, which is still available, the UAE, Iraqi and Kuwait ministers insist that there is no need to change the strategy and that the cartel will stick to its plan to limit yields by the end of the year.

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China imported 12 percent less crude oil in December than in November, when crude imports had hit a record high, sparking immediate concern about demand from one of the world's top consumers.

The drop also outpaced the estimated 5.1-million barrel decrease from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group. The organization highlights these results in its most recent monthly report on the oil market.

IEA analysts believe that steady OPEC production must be treated with caution.

A global supply glut pushed oil prices as low as $30 per barrel at the start of 2016.

"It is costing more to rehire skilled workers owing to a tightened labor market and the availability of equipment", OPEC said.

And while the market appears to be shrugging off this prospect for now, say Alison Sider and Stephanie Yang in The Wall Street Journal, just wait until the production jump becomes increasingly visible later in the year. For the same period, analysts polled had consensus estimates for a decrease of 3.54 million barrels in crude inventories, a rise of about 3.43 million barrels in gasoline and an increase of 86,000 barrels in distillate stockpiles.

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