Fundamental Comment

Oil prices rise in 2019 despite the lengthy trade war

Oil prices rise in 2019 despite the lengthy trade war

Crude oil prices rose more than 20 percent in 2019, despite a succession of global economic events that have affected the crude oil market in one way or another. Most notably, the U.S.-China trade war and sanctions imposed on some OPEC members, as well as reduced supplies from the largest oil-producing countries because of some of attacks.

Crude oil has only earned $70 per barrel over the past year. Most of the gains made by crude oil during the first quarter of the year were followed by shocks that affected oil supply significantly.

High volatility was predominant during the period when some oil installations in Saudi Arabia were attacked by drones, with the price of oil rising briefly after these events, along with U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

Last September's attacks on Saudi Aramco also pushed oil prices short, after which prices fell significantly due to supply damage.

On the other hand, despite the direct negative impact of the US lengthy trade war with China, which led to weak demand for the crude oil market in general, U.S. crude continues to be on track to end 2019 with a 35 percent gain.  

The US is also moving forward to becoming a major oil exporter, with an average production of 13.2 million barrels per day, an increase of about 1 million barrels per day by 2019.

Expectations are referring that oil prices are likely to remain in the current range in 2020, as oversupply, particularly from the United States, have offset OPEC's supply reduction and the marked weakness in demand because of the trade war between the largest two economies.

Crude oil is meanwhile trading higher at $62.08 a barrel, the highest level since September 17, and Brent crude also hit a record high of $67.53.

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