LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Friday as a trade dispute between the United States and other major economies raises questions about future demand growth, although markets remain tight due to supply disruptions. and the impending US sanctions against Iran.
U.S. Light crude CLc1 was down 20 cents at $ 73.25 a barrel at 0730 GMT. On Thursday, the contract reached its highest level since November 2014 at $ 74.03 per barrel.
Brent LCOc1 crude remained unchanged at $ 77.85 a barrel.
Trade disputes between the United States, on the one hand, and major economies, including China, India and the European Union, on the other, are beginning to cloud the prospects for global economic growth.
Merchants worry that tariffs on exports, including US crude oil, will impede the flow of goods and trade from loss and eventually hit oil demand.
Commodity brokerage Marex Spectron said this week that the macroeconomic outlook was "overwhelmingly bearish".
Despite the commercial dispute, the supply of oil is scarce.
North American oil reserves have fallen due to an interruption in Syncrude's production in Canada, which has blocked more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production. The interruption is expected to last at least until July, according to the operator Suncor Energy ( SU.TO ).
Outside of North America, record demand and voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have raised prices.
Unplanned supply disruptions from Libya to Venezuela have further hardened the market.
OPEC and Russia have said they will increase production to meet demand and replace crude from unplanned outages, but many analysts believe that the additional supply may be inadequate.
"The clear message of the OPEC + meetings was that those countries with additional capacity would increase production to keep the market well supplied," US bank Jefferies said on Friday.
The US government UU It is trying to get Iran out of the oil markets when it fully implements its sanctions in November.
"The Trump administration seems prepared to continue with a campaign of maximum pressure in Tehran," said Phillip Futures.
The main buyers of Iranian oil, including Japan, India and South Korea, have indicated that they can stop importing Iranian crude if US sanctions are imposed.
Until then, however, Asia is buying as much Iranian oil as possible. Imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia rose to their highest level in eight months in May.
China, India, Japan and South Korea imported 1.8 million bpd from Iran last month, 15 percent more than a year ago.
Additional report by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Jane Merriman