March crude weakens amid refinery maintenance and eurozone fears

10 April 2013 12:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Extensive planned refinery maintenance across the globe, along with renewed fears of the eurozone debt crisis, has put pressure on crude oil prices on the NYMEX and ICE exchanges as well as the OPEC Reference Basket, according to an OPEC report on Wednesday.

The OPEC Reference Basket, which includes select grades from OPEC members, fell by more than 5% in March. Part of the decline was attributed to the weakness in Dated Brent-related crudes, such as Algeria’s Saharan Blend and Nigeria’s Bonny Light.

The report attributed a 5.60% decline in front-month ICE Brent values to renewed eurozone worries. The report highlighted the turmoil surrounding the financial bailout of Cyprus and continued political uncertainty in Italy, which have worsened the region’s oil consumption outlook for 2013.

However, recent positive economic data from the US, particularly in the housing sector, has capped potential losses to NYMEX WTI, where the front-month contract declined by around 2.50% in March.

World oil demand growth in 2013 has been revised lower by 40,000 bbl/day to 800,000 bbl/day, where the bulk of the growth continues to come from China. Other non-OECD countries are expected to add 700,000 bbl/day to world oil demand growth, while OECD nations are expected to reduce consumption by around 300,000 bbl/day.

On the supply side, forecasts show supply growth at 1m bbl/day in 2013, down by 40,000 bbl/day compared with the previous month. The downward revision was attributed to historical revisions and updated production data.


By: Kawai Wong
+44 20 8652 3214



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