SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday after US President Donald Trump sent a raucous tweet demanding that OPEC lower oil prices.
The escalating trade between Washington and Beijing, which triggered another massive sale of shares Asians on Thursday, was also felt in the oil markets, with China warning that it could introduce tariffs on US crude imports at a date not yet specified.
Brent LCOc1 crude futures were at $ 77.68 per barrel at 0532 GMT, down 56 cents, or 0.7 percent, since its last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $ 73.69 a barrel.
Trump accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Wednesday of raising fuel prices.
"The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices have gone up and are doing little to help," Trump wrote in his personal Twitter account. "In any case, they are driving the highest prices since the United States defends many of its members for very few dollars."
It must be a two-way street, "he wrote, and capitalized," REDUCE PRICES NOW "!"
OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russia began to retain production in 2017 to shore up prices.
Recent price increases have also been stimulated by an announcement from the US. UU That he plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran starting in November, targeting oil exports.
"A key factor in the price increase has been the agreement between OPEC and Russia to cut oil production, aggravated by the collapse of Venezuelan production and the decision of the United States to end the agreement with Iran," said the National Australia Bank (NAB) in July. panorama.
OPEC and Russia announced in June that they were willing to increase production to address concerns over the shortage of emerging supplies due to unplanned outages from Venezuela to Libya, and probably also to replace a possible fall of Iranian supplies due to US sanctions
Despite these measures to replace interrupted supplies, Goldman Sachs said in a July 4 note to its clients that "the market will remain in deficit" in the second half of the year.
The US bank UU He warned that supply threats were "threatening a sharp rise in prices and global economic growth." [nL4N1U11ZH]
(GRAPH: exports of crude oil from the United States to China, reut.rs/2NtnA63)
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce of China said on Thursday that the United States is " opening fire against the whole world. " , warning that tariffs proposed by Washington to Chinese products will affect international supply chains.
The comments came as Washington plans to impose tariffs on an estimated $ 34 billion in Chinese imports on Friday.
Asian stocks extended sharp losses on Thursday.
China's customs agency said on its website that Chinese tariffs on US goods would be immediately implemented in retaliation.
However, the Chinese government has not yet specified a date on which it can introduce tariffs on imports of US crude. The latter has soared in the last two years to around 400,000 barrels per day in July, worth around $ 1 billion at current market prices.
If introduced, a 25 percent import duty would make US crude not competitive in China, forcing its refiners to seek alternative supplies.
"Tariffs will close the opportunity for US export arbitration to China," Goldman Sachs said, adding that finding alternative supplies would be "fairly easy" for Chinese refiners.
(GRAPH: US against international oil prices, reut.rs/2KL7XoZ)
Reports by Henning Gloystein; edition of Kenneth Maxwell and Christian Schmollinger