Trade war fears are escalating after President Donald Trump hit back against the Chinese by asking his administration to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10%. This came after markets started to shake off concerns about the United States imposing a 25% tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese products.
Crude oil prices got hit hard as the trade war for oil traders got personal. In a tit for tat, the Chinese government announced tariffs on U.S. oil imports as well as other energy products, in a sector that U.S. President Donald Trump promised to make great again. This along with the fact that most people believe that OPEC and Russia will decide to increase oil output even after reports that Bloomberg says that Iran, Iraq and Venezuela will veto the increase.
Crude oil prices fell back yesterday as most oil traders agreed that Iran lied about their nuclear ambitions, but really, they were old lies that we have already heard before. Because there was no real new information, the market then focused mainly on the soaring U.S. dollar and concerns that red-hot global demand may ease as data in Europe was less than overwhelming.
Crude oil bears are scattering after China is signaling they will start to open their markets and take steps to guard foreign intellectual property. The speech by the Chinese President seems to suggest that President Donald Trump’s tactics of playing hardball is having the desired effect. China, of course, had its currency pegged to the dollar until 2014 and has charged many countries unfair tariffs and realized that they were trying to defend undependable trade practices.
Planes and cars and steel is one thing, but now it’s serious because we are talking soybeans. China decided to hit at the heart of U.S. China trade by taxing the beloved American soybean. The move was viewed by the market as the first real sign that the potential trade war is serious because China loves and need U.S. soybeans. Historically, China introduced the United States to the soybean and we have been happy to sell them back to them.
The crude oil sell-off was just downright crazy. Oil got caught up in trade war fears, tech wreck fears, OPEC/Non-OPEC compliance fears, and a build in Cushing, Okla., oil stocks, as reported by Genscape. Stocks had the worst start to April since 1929, but really the magnitude of this sell off was a big April’s Fools Day joke that just one day late.
Crude oil sold off on tariff fears but rallied back as Saudi Arabia is signaling that they are just crazy about production cuts and want an extension. It's tariff fears versus rising demand and falling supply for oil and it seems that supply and demand have the edge right now.
Last Friday marked the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, China’s most important holiday. The fire rooster struts off-stage, clearing the way for the loyal earth dog.
Now you see it. Now you don’t. Presto, change-o the U.S. oil glut has disappeared. Low crude prices and a booming global economy have caused the biggest oil glut in history to disappear before your very eyes. The American Petroleum Institute reported another massive 5.121 million barrels drop in U.S. crude supply dragging stockpiles back to the lower end of the average range for this time of year.
Brent Crude crashed through $70 a barrel and WTI just shy of $65, shattering another glass ceiling many oil bears said was impossible to ever see. This came as OPEC said it has no intentions to relent on production cuts and overshadowed rising rig counts. Even as the market gets a little turn around Tuesday profit taking, the oil bears are having to throw in the towel.