MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude prices drop on US-China trade tensions

April 3, 2018
The light, sweet crude oil price for May dropped nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Apr. 2 while the Brent contract for June fell $1.70/bbl after China imposed import tariffs on US goods in response to recent tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports from China.

The light, sweet crude oil price for May dropped nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Apr. 2 while the Brent contract for June fell $1.70/bbl after China imposed import tariffs on US goods in response to recent tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports from China.

Analysts and traders had warned that tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump could trigger a trade war, consequently hindering oil and product demand.

Separately, the Iraqi government reportedly has approved plans to increase the country’s oil production capacity to 6.5 million b/d by 2022 from an anticipated 5 million b/d in 2019. Iraq was expected to expand its future oil production.

In late March, Brent had closed above $70/bbl—close to a 3-year high. But analysts noted that oil prices started the second quarter under pressure. The US and London markets were closed on Mar. 30 for a holiday.

Energy prices

The May light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX fell $1.93 on Apr. 2 to settle at $63.01/bbl. The June contract dropped $1.88 to $62.99/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for May declined 5¢ to a rounded $2.68/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price dropped 3¢ to $2.72/MMbtu on Apr. 2.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for May decreased 4¢ to a rounded $1.98/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for May declined 5¢ to a rounded $1.97/gal.

Brent crude oil for June fell $1.70 to $67.64/bbl on London’s International Commodity Exchange. The July contract declined $1.67 to $67.18/bbl. The gas oil contract for April was $613/tonne, down $5.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $66.48/bbl, up 61¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at [email protected].