Oil prices rise amid US sanctions
Oil prices rose on Wednesday as US sanctions on crude exporters Iran and Venezuela as well as ongoing supply cuts by producers have left markets tight just as crude imports to China rose to a record for April.
GLOBAL MARKETS REMAIN TIGHT
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.96 per barrel at 0658 GMT on Wednesday, 56 cents, or 0.9 percent, above their last settlement. Brent crude oil futures were at $70.31 per barrel, 43 cents, or 0.6 percent, above their last close.
Iran has said it will defy the sanctions and continue to export oil. It has also said it stop implementing “some commitments” under a 2015 nuclear deal if it is not allowed to continue exporting oil. Most analysts expect Iran’s crude export to fall to little more than 500,000 bpd, down from around 1 million bpd in April, as governments largely bow to US pressure.
The sanctions come amid already tight supply as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has been withholding output since the start of the year in order to prop up prices. OPEC is due to meet in June at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to decide its output policy for the rest of the year.