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Oil prices down on Iran sanction exemptions, demand concerns

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) - prices fell on Tuesday after granted sanctions exemptions to top buyers of Iranian oil, lifting supply concerns and turning the market's focus to worries that an economic slowdown may curb fuel demand.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 53 cents at $72.64 a barrel by 1243 GMT.

U.S. Intermediate crude futures were at $62.80 a barrel, down 30 cents from their last settlement.

gave 180-day exemptions to eight importers - China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, and This group takes as much as three-quarters of Iran's seaborne exports, trade data shows, meaning will still be allowed to export some for now.

Iran's crude exports could fall to little more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, compared with a 2018 high of around 2.6 million. But that figure could rise from December as importers use their waivers.

was given a waiver to import around 360,000 bpd from during the exemption period, sources told

The on Monday restored sanctions targeting Iran's oil, and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what called its "outlaw" policies, steps called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

"The factor continues to occupy the minds of market participants. That said, it is failing to spur buying pressures," PVM said in a note.

Meanwhile, concerns about demand continue. The trade dispute between the and threatens growth in the world's two biggest economies and currency weakness is pressuring economies in Asia, including and

On the supply side, oil is ample despite the sanctions against Iran as output from the world's top three producers - Russia, the and - is rising.

The three countries combined produced more than 33 million bpd for the first time in October, meaning they alone meet more than a third of the world's almost 100 million bpd of

Amid ample supply, top crude exporter has cut the December price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers.

The price pressure on oil has scared off financial traders.

Hedge fund managers were net sellers of petroleum-linked futures and options last week, taking their net long position to the lowest level in 15 months, according to records published by regulators and exchanges.

(Additional reporting By in Singapore; Editing by and David Evans)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 18:25 IST