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Showing posts from April 17, 2022

Is Russian rouble defying sanctions - after all?

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  The unexpected recovery of the Russian rouble by more than 42% in one month has, undoubtedly,  left the decision makers in the West in an uncomfortable lurch, especially when the expected outcome was the exact inverse.  Making matters worse for the policymakers, the anticipated oil and gas revenue by Russia in 2022, much to the dismay of the former, has gone up significantly too;  some analysts estimate it to be more than a third of its revenue in 2021. As for the recovery of rouble, President Putin's calculated gamble seems to be paying off: a few weeks ago, he wanted the countries in the EU and other 'hostile nations' to pay for the Russian fuel in rouble, if they wanted an uninterrupted supply. Initially, the countries in question just ignored Russian decision in unison, branding it 'blackmailing'; they went on to say that the decree violates the contractual agreements. No sooner had the EU responded collectively than the cracks started appearing in the allianc

US crude oil stocks drop - unexpectedly!

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  The US crude oil stocks fell by 4.496 million barrels, defying the prediction of a crude oil build of 2.233 barrels, according to the API, American Petroleum Institute.  Analysts anticipated yet another build, in line with the huge crude build reported last week - 7.757 million barrels, while taking into account global uncertainties on many fronts.  The rising Covid-19 infections in China - and the alleged heavy-handed measures to curb the spreading - worried the analysts and investors, in anticipation of a significant drop in demand in the world's biggest consumer of the crude oil. Although the situation is far from over, the Chinese authorities are determined not to let their guard down. The lockdowns, especially in commercially-important city, Shanghai, could spell an economic setback for China that already feels economic headwinds.  In addition, there are rising Covid-19 infections in India, the world's third largest consumer, as well. The authorities in New Delhi have ma

What drives the oil and gas prices down - against all odds?

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  The price of crude oil and LNG, liquefied natural gas, started falling on Tuesday - quite unexpectedly. In fact, the crude oil market braced themselves for the polar opposite, especially in light of the new major offensive by Russia in the east of Ukraine. As of 16:30 GMT, the price of WTI, Brent and LNG were $102.79, $107.69 and $6.99 respectively, recording a steep fall relative to what they had been the previous day. Last week, there was a huge US crude inventory build, confirmed by both the API, American Petroleum Institute and EIA, US Energy Information Administration; the API indicated the figure as 7.757 million barrels; their own estimate for the same was 1.367 million barrels. For the last week, the API estimated a crude build of 2.533 million barrels; the actual data is yet to be released, perhaps later during the day. The significant drop of the prices of crude oil and gases, in this context, may be due an estimated yet another significant US crude build during the past we