Oil Prices Jump on Hopes of End to U.S.-China Trade War
Oil prices erased earlier losses and surged on Tuesday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would meet his Chinese counterpart next week to discuss the ongoing trade dispute, lending hope to the oil market that talks will resume after weeks of stalemate. “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” President Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning. Click here to read more from OilPrice.com.
U.S. releases photos reportedly show Iranians removing unexploded mine from oil tanker
In an effort to bolster its public case against Iran, the Pentagon on Monday released new photos that officials said show that members of Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard were responsible for attacks last week on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf. The images, many taken from a Navy helicopter, show what the Pentagon said were Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Officials last week said the move appeared to be an attempt to remove forensic evidence from the scene of the attack. But it’s not clear if examination of the mine would have made it definitively clear that the device was planted by the IRGC. Click here to read more from MarketWatch.
Being blamed for the oil tanker attack suits Iran just fine
In the not very complicated mystery over the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, there are two prime suspects with motives for the crimes. Only one, however, stands to benefit, whoever is responsible. Iran. And despite Iran’s denial, being blamed for these attacks suits it nicely. It’s no surprise that Tehran has now announced an increase in the production of low-enriched uranium. Both moves help Iran’s rulers turn a gap between the US and its most powerful allies in Europe into, well, a gulf. They also drive home the point that, whatever the US (and its allies in Saudi Arabia and Israel) may think, heavy economic pressure on Iran can have dangerous consequences. Click here to read more from CNN.
U.S. Oil Sanctions Trigger Recession In Iran
Iran’s economy contracted by 4.9 percent in the 2018-2019 year ended in March, slipping further into recession as diminishing oil exports due to the U.S. sanctions are depriving the Islamic Republic of its economic lifeline—oil revenues. Oil income is an essential part of Iran’s state revenues and the plunging crude exports are crippling the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran’s economy is expected to shrink by 6 percent this year, while the annual inflation will spike to 37.2 percent. A World Bank report from earlier this month showed that Iran’s annual inflation had risen sharply from about 10 percent in the middle of 2018 to about 52 percent in April 2019, “contributed by a depreciation of the rial in the parallel market of more than two-fold compared to levels prior to the announcement of U.S. sanctions in April 2018.” Click here to read more from OilPrice.com.