Crude oil prices mark only a slight change on Wednesday morning after renewed US sanctions against Iran have been in force for more than a day, and against reports of increased US inventories.
The futures on US light crude oil, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), are trading with growth of 0.07% to 69.22 USD per barrel. The international benchmark Brent, for its part, decreased by 0.03% to 74.63 USD per barrel.
Crude oil prices have risen, as US sanctions against Iran have worsened moods. The news from key buyers suggest that the market is already adapting to the new environment. A package of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic has been in force since Tuesday, which includes a purchase from Iran of US dollars, trade in metals, coal, industrial software, and activities in the automotive sector.
The Iranian oil sector will enter into the sanctions list in November.
Iran is the third largest oil producer in OPEC. In September, the country exported around 3 million barrels per day, equivalent to 3% of world demand.
In addition to the sanctions, the oil markets were also focused on the US market, as the US Oil Institute said yesterday that US inventories fell by 6 million barrels in the week to August 3, reaching 407.2 million barrels.
In terms of demand, according to official data, China’s oil imports in July returned to their original levels after a decline in the past two months. Nevertheless, the figures remain among the lowest this year due to lower demand from smaller refineries.
Last month, supplies to the world’s largest importer were 36.02 million tonnes or 8.48 million barrels per day. This is a significant increase of 8.18 million barrels per day an year ago and 8.36 million barrels in June. Nevertheless, the July figures are the third lowest since the beginning of the year.