Oil is trading a bit higher this afternoon, right in line with recent trading ranges between $63 and $65. Markets have not yet been able to sustain a rally higher, but they also have too much buying pressure to sink lower. This afternoon WTI crude is trading at $63.65, up 25 cents.
Fuel is also trading moderately higher, not quite back to highs set last week but not far off either. Diesel prices are trading at $2.0719, up 1.1 cents since Monday’s close. Gasoline prices are trading at $2.0172, up 0.5 cents.
Iran sanctions waivers are now just 16 days away from expiring, and markets still have no news from the White House on how to proceed. General expectations indicate a moderate decline in waived purchases. Italy, Greece, and Taiwan – three countries who never used their waivers – are expected to be brought to zero, which won’t have any significant market affect. More importantly, markets expect downward revisions for Japan and Korea, both of whom continued buying Iran crude at reduced levels since November. Finally, for China, India, and Turkey, analysts expect no change – those heavy consumers of Iranian oil will continue to require waivers to remain compliant. Of course, that’s all market conjecture – the White House could easily surprise with a change in either direction.