Trafigura Says Oil May Be Prone to Price Spikes

(Bloomberg) — The outlook for oil prices, crude demand in top importer China, and the longevity of OPEC+ supply cuts are set to be among the key topics at Asia’s biggest gathering of the industry’s traders and executives, which kicked off in Singapore on Monday.

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Attendees at the annual APPEC conference by S&P Global Commodity Insights will also have an opportunity to reflect on Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine, which has so far spanned 18 months, rising flows of Iranian crude, and the transition away from fossil fuels in the transport sector. All times are local.

‘Fragile’ Market May Be Prone to Price Spikes (6:17 p.m.)

Major commodities trader Trafigura Group says oil prices could spike as higher interest rates and underinvestment squeeze the market.

The consensus view is for prices to remain near current levels, but the market is “more fragile than it looks,” Ben Luckock, the co-head of oil trading said in an interview. Brent crude is nearing $90 a barrel after OPEC+ heavyweights reduced supply — curbs that could continue further.

Black Gold: Chinese Demand to Surge in 4Q (3:25 p.m.)

Chinese oil demand will likely see a huge surge in the fourth quarter, said Gary Ross, a veteran oil consultant turned hedge fund manager at Black Gold Investors LLC. Jet fuel and gasoline consumption is strong, and refinery runs are likely to remain high, boosting the country’s crude imports.

Trafigura Says Its China Oil Business Strong (12:10 p.m.)

The oil and metals segments of Trafigura Group’s business in China remain strong, said Co-Head of Oil Trading Ben Luckock. The Asian nation’s property market is bad, but other parts of the economy aren’t so poor, he added.

OPEC+ cuts have led to elevated oil prices, and the global gasoil structure is extremely strong at the moment, signaling pockets of tightness, he said.

Vitol Doesn’t See Big Jump in Iran’s Exports (11:08 a.m.)

There’s unlikely to be a huge bump in Iranian exports if sanctions on the OPEC producer are eased, said Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy. Gains in production will also be modest because output has been creeping higher over the past couple of years, he added.

The price cap on Russian crude is working in that it’s creating lower revenue for Moscow, but the measure has led to higher shipping costs, Hardy said. An increase in Venezuelan crude flows won’t shake up markets, he added.

Singapore Seeks to Build Biofuels Trade (9:53 a.m.)

Singapore has continued to attract companies to expand their global footprint from the city-state, with major energy and agriculture groups building operations to trade biofuels, carbon offsets and crude.

A key goal is to grow new trade flows for renewable fuels as the global energy transition gathers pace, said Low Yen Ling, the minister of state at the trade and industry ministry. Over 60 companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Repsol SA, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. are trading biofuels from Singapore, Low said.

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