Renew sanctions against Iran

The official selling price for Oman crude oil during July 2018, for the delivery month of September 2018, settled at US$73.17, lower by US$0.44 only compared with June trading prices.

"Past instances of El Nino have resulted in sharp drops in U.S. residential and commercial heating oil demand and prices", it said.

On the demand side, China's July crude oil imports recovered slightly in July after falling for the previous two months, but were still among the lowest this year due to a drop-off in demand from the country's smaller independent, or "teapot", refineries.

China is slapping additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of USA imports, from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment, as the world's largest economies escalated their trade dispute.

The President Donald Trump administration has urged all countries to end imports of Iranian oil by November 4 as part of its new policy of hostility towards Tehran after Washington's unilateral exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The sanctions are already brewing a potential confrontation between the United States and Iran as Tehran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, an important sea route through which tankers ship more than 30 per cent of crude oil to the global market, in retaliation to the sanctions.

Oil prices slumped Wednesday after Beijing announced it would retaliate against the Trump administration with a 25% tariff on another $16 billion worth of USA products, including crude exports to China.

Given the current firm trade in the crude oil markets, it looks as if storage reports from the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration early Wednesday could set the tone for the rest of the week. The contract rose 52 cents to $69.01 on Monday. Total volume traded was about 48 per cent below the 100-day average.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1 cent at.02 barrel. Brent was down 0.6% to just above $74 a barrel.

Admittedly, oil production there is surging from one record high to the next.

Arrivals in August are expected to shrink even more to around 6 million barrels. If it's confirmed by the EIA data, it would be the twelfth straight week of losses. US Eastern time (0401 GMT) on Tuesday. China has vowed to strike back again, dollar-for-dollar, on the $16 billion tranche.

Goldman Sachs insists we are heading for a "very, very tight oil market".

USA sanctions on Iran's energy sector are set to be re-imposed after a 180-day "wind-down period" ending on November 4. Washington's reinstatement of sanctions is already isolating the Gulf nation's economy.

The Foreign Ministry of China stated on Wednesday that China vehemently opposes the unilateral sanctions from the U.S. on Iran.

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