The Strategist

Analysts: Trade war contributed 70% to oil prices falling

10/22/2019 - 06:55

Contribution of the US-China trade war to the fall in Brent oil prices was 70%, Bloomberg calculated. Responsibility for everything else lies with the balance of supply and demand.

Since April, the cost of Brent oil has been reduced by 20%, Bloomberg states. According to the agency’s estimates, the trade war between the US and China is 70% to blame. The remaining 30% is the contribution of large volumes of supplies. The downward trend in oil prices will continue next year in any scenario, the agency said.

On Monday afternoon, October 21, the cost of December Brent futures on the London ICE Futures exchange was $ 59.1 per barrel. This is $ 0.32 below the previous session close. At the same time, November futures for WTI crude oil in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) fell by $ 0.21, i.e. to $ 53.57 per barrel.

The oil market has been affected by a new wave of fears about prospects for demand, a review of analysts at Commerzbank shows. “As always, the main negative factor remains the US-China trade war, and gloomy moods in the oil market will not change until the parties find a convincing solution to the trade dispute,” the review said.

The trade war between the U.S. and China has been ongoing since 2018. First, the United States sharply increased duties on the supply of solar panels and washing machines, that is, goods largely produced in China. In response, China raised US import duties on food products. In the summer of 2018, countries imposed duties against each other once again, with a total value of $ 50 billion for each side. Last fall, US President Donald Trump imposed additional duties of $ 200 billion on supplies from China. Beijing responded by imposing similar duties on $ 60 billion.

During the G20 summit at the end of last year, the leaders of the two countries signed a 90-day truce. In the spring of 2019, Trump said that China “broke the deal” during trade negotiations, but China denied this. Washington has raised duties on Chinese imports of $ 200 billion from 10% to 25%. Beijing responded with $ 60 billion in import duties on US goods. Trump then introduced an emergency regime to protect the country's communications networks, blacklisting Chinese company Huawei because of a threat to national security.

In August 2019, Trump said that from September 1, Washington will introduce new duties of 10% on goods from China worth $ 300 billion. He added that trade negotiations with Beijing are ongoing. The words of the American president led to a sharp drop in the American stock market.