oil output


Oil hits 2019 high above US$72 on China growth, lower US inventories

LONDON, April 17 — Brent oil hit a 2019 high above US$72 (RM298) a barrel today, propelled by steady economic growth in China and a fall in US crude stocks which defied expectations and signalled firm demand, while global supply remained tight….

Opec could raise oil output if prices increase, shortages mount, say sources

DUBAI, April 12 — Opec could raise oil output from July if Venezuelan and Iranian supply drops further and prices keep rallying, because extending production cuts with Russia and other allies could overtighten the market, sources familiar with the…

Opec: Venezuela reports collapse in oil supply, tightening global market

LONDON, April 10 — Venezuela told Opec that the country’s oil output sank to a new long-term low last month due to US sanctions and blackouts, deepening the impact of a global production curb and further tightening supplies. Supply cuts by Opec…

Russia signals Opec and allies should raise oil output from June

MOSCOW, April 8 — One of the key Russian officials to foster a supply pact with Opec, Kirill Dmitriev, signalled today Russia wanted to raise oil output when it meets with Opec in June because of improving market conditions and falling stockpiles….

Brent edges further away from US$70 level

TOKYO: Oil prices slipped a second day today, with Brent edging down further from the US$70 mark after weekly US oil data showed a surprise build in crude inventories and record production.

Brent futures were down 3 cents at US$69.28 a barrel by 0603 GMT. Brent fell 6 cents on Wednesday, after touching US$69.96, highest since Nov 12, when it last traded above US$70.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 8 cents, or 0.1%, to US$62.38 a barrel. The contract dropped 12 cents in the previous session after briefly hitting US$62.99, also the highest since November.

Global benchmark Brent has gained nearly 30% this year, while WTI has gained nearly 40%. Prices have been underpinned by tightening global supplies and signs of demand picking up.

“There is a clear bias to the upside with the supply restrictions,“ said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, pointing to supply cuts by Opec and others, along with sanctions on Iran.

“And there’s a much-better-than-expected demand picture after the recent China and US PMI numbers, along with a potential kicker from any US-China trade agreement,“ he said.

The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.4, the highest since January 2018 and up from February’s 51.1, a fourth-month low, a private business survey of China’s service sector showed on Wednesday.

Trade talks between the United States and China made “good headway” last week in Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during further talks, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday.

Crude oil is also supported by an agreement between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and allies such as Russia, a group known as Opec+, to reduce oil output by about 1.2 million bpd this year.

US pressure on Iran is increasing, with a senior Trump administration official saying earlier this week that Washington is considering more sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

The refinery maintenance season is also drawing to a close and that will provide further demand for crude, said Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at Energy Aspects in Singapore.

“The physical market is very strong and we are now starting to trade post-turnaround barrels, which should mean physical markets strengthen and flat prices should follow,“ he said.

Still, crude oil inventories in the United States rose by 7.2 million barrels last week, as net imports climbed, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. Analysts had forecast a decrease of 425,000 barrels.

US crude production climbed 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record 12.2 million bpd, after hovering around 12 million to 12.1 million bpd since mid-February, according to the EIA data.

Pound falls after UK parliament rejects Brexit plan

LONDON, March 29 — The pound fell today after Britain’s parliament again rejected a proposed deal to withdraw from the European Union. Sterling had been mostly stronger against both the dollar and the euro in the runup to the vote, but then fell…

Opec to scrap April meeting but keep oil cuts in place

BAKU, March 18 ― Opec is set to scrap its planned meeting in April and decide instead whether to extend oil output cuts in June, when the market will be able to assess the full impact of US sanctions on Iran and the crisis in Venezuela. A…

Downward drag on manufacturing sector expected to persist

PETALING JAYA: The downward pressure on the local manufacturing sector is expected to remain high going forward, dragged by the electrical and electronic (E&E) segment due to the softening of global semiconductor sales, according to AmBank Research.

Malaysian trade is envisaged to ease on the back of a moderate export outlook, in tandem with a slower global growth, the research firm said in a report last Friday.

Thus, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019 is forecast to grow around 4.5% with downside risk at 4.0% in view of ongoing external noises and domestic challenges.

The industrial production rose slightly slower in January by 3.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) from 3.4% y-o-y in December following a moderate growth in manufacturing which increased 4.2% y-o-y from 4.4% in December.

AmBank Research said the slower manufacturing output is not a surprise, saying the production from E&E which rose 3.9% versus 7.2% in December was in line within expectation.

“The global E& E cycle has peaked and is now on a softening trend. Furthermore, the manufacturing PMI is still in the contraction region. Forward manufacturing indicators have turned soft,” it explained.

Nonetheless, the research house pointed out that manufacturing activities in areas like resource-based have improved. Likewise, he said textile, and food, beverages and tobacco were also higher.

The poor mining output was a result of the decline in crude oil output, down 2.2% in January compared with a gain of 2.5% y-o-y in December while the natural gas output rebounded 0.3% from a 0.2% contraction in December.

The research house said this segment of mining will remain subdued until the crude supply disruption in the Kebabangan gas field recovers by mid-2019.

Meanwhile, UOB Malaysia said the higher investment approvals last year particularly from foreigners augur well for foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.

Assuming 60% of average investment approvals in 2016 to 2018 are realised, this could translate to gross FDIs of RM120-RM130 billion this year.

“The average rate of investment realisation is 60%-70% in the first 18 months. However the timeline is subject to the global outlook and investor sentiment which is tentative at this juncture,” it noted.

Malaysia’s investment approvals rose marginally by 0.5% to RM202 billion last year, from RM201 billion in 2017. Approved foreign investments accelerated 48% to a record RM80.5 billion last year, while approved local investments fell 17% to RM121 billion. This was mainly driven by higher approvals in the manufacturing sector, which increased 37% to RM87 billion or 43% of total investment. Approved China manufacturing investments spiked 411% to RM20 billion in 2018.

Industrial production rose slightly slower in January by 3.2% year-on-year. BERNAMAPIX

Frenzied buying of oil & gas stocks on Bursa

PETALING JAYA: In what was a rare occasion on Bursa Malaysia today, the local bourse saw the top 10 most active list being fully dominated by oil and gas (O&G) and related stocks, which attracted investors’ interest on hopes that supply cuts will boost global crude prices.

Frenzied buying of O&G stocks led to a 27.07-point, or 2.61%, jump in the Energy Index to 1,063.01 points today from 1,035.94 points yester. It was the best performing index on Bursa Malaysia.

As at 6pm today West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil futures were trading 0.9% and 0.61% higher at US$57.40 and US$67.10 per barrel, respectively.

On Bursa Malaysia, Naim Holdings Bhd was the top gainer today after it hit limit-up at RM1.20, closing 30 sen or 33.33% higher with 68.10 million shares traded.

Among the most actively traded stocks were Sapura Energy Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd.

Sapura Energy was the most actively traded stock, with 370.10 million shares done. It rose 4.62% to close at 34 sen.

Perdana Petroleum’s share price jumped 50% to close at 45 sen with 339.98 million shares done. This was followed by Alam Maritim Resources Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroluem Bhd, which soared 20% and 19% to 15 sen and 12.5 sen, res-pectively.

Oil prices were lifted by ongoing supply cuts led by Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies including Russia (known as Opec+), which had agreed in December last year to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) beginning January this year, for a period of six months.

According to a Reuters report last month, Opec’s oil output fell almost 800,000 bpd in January to 30.81 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports to below 7 million bpd in April while keeping its output below 10 million bpd.

A Reuters report quoting a Saudi official, said that state-owned Saudi Aramco’s oil allocations for April are 635,000 bpd below customers’ nomination.

Despite strong demand of more than 7.6 million bpd, its customers were allocated less than 7 million bpd.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that March oil production was 9.8 million bpd and that the country plans to keep its April output at the same level.

Closer to home, the O&G sector was also boosted by state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) commitment of a higher capital expenditure (capex) of over RM50 billion for 2019, as it focuses on plans to venture into new businesses such as renewable energy and specialty chemicals.

Last year, the national oil firm spent RM46.8 billion on capex, with a focus on the upstream projects. The RM46.8 billion is 5% higher than the previous year.

The higher capex is expected to spur local upstream activities, with potential beneficiaries being fabricators and floating production storage and offloading players.

Saudi Arabia to cut oil exports in April, says Saudi official

DUBAI, March 11 — Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), while keeping its output well below 10 million bpd, a Saudi official said today, as the kingdom seeks to drain a supply glut and…