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Analysts slash oil price forecasts due to fears over economy, trade: Reuters poll

Analysts have slashed their oil price forecasts to the lowest in more than 16 months, citing softening global demand as an economic slowdown looms and uncertainty prevails on the U.S.-China trade front, a Reuters poll showed. The survey of 51 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude LCOc1 would average $65.02 a barrel in 2019, down about 4% from the previous month’s $67.47 projection and compared with the $65.08 average for the global benchmark so far this year. It is also the lowest 2019 average forecast for Brent since March 2018. ...

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Oil Short-Selling Is Back in Time for Holiday Trade War Jitters

Oil short-selling has returned in time for renewed concern over the U.S.-China trade war and just as futures capped their worst month since May. Hedge funds increased by 14% their bets that West Texas Intermediate crude will decline, following a three-week retreat, data released Friday show. The bearish stance came just in time for a last-day price slump that extended August’s drop 5.9% as China was set to impose a 5% tariff on American crude. With news on the spat between the world’s two largest economies frequently breaking on a ...

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GLOBAL LNG-Japanese winter appetite mops up some of surplus cargoes

Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) were steady this week as spot demand from Japanese buyers stockpiling ahead of winter soaked up supply offered from Australia and Malaysia. Spot prices for October delivery to Northeast Asia are estimated to be about $4.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), steady from last week, said several sources that participate in the market. Japan’s Tohoku Electric likely bought a cargo for delivery over Oct. 16 to 20 at $4.60 to $4.70 per mmBtu, an industry source said, though this could not ...

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Trump Heaps More Tariffs on China, Still No Deal in Sight

The Trump administration slapped tariffs on roughly $110 billion in Chinese imports on Sunday, marking the latest escalation in a trade war that’s inflicting damage across the world economy. China retaliated. The 15% U.S. duty hit consumer goods ranging from footwear and apparel to home textiles and certain technology products like the Apple Watch. A separate batch of about $160 billion in Chinese goods — including laptops and cellphones — will be hit with 15% tariffs on Dec. 15. President Donald Trump delayed part of the levies to blunt the ...

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China’s factory activity shrinks for fourth month as trade woes deepen

Factory activity in China shrank in August for the fourth month in a row as the United States ramped up trade pressure and domestic demand remained sluggish, pointing to a further slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. Persistent weakness in China’s vast manufacturing sector could fuel expectations that Beijing needs to roll out stimulus more quickly, and more aggressively, to weather the biggest downturn in decades. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.5 in August, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, versus 49.7 in July, below the ...

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PPA eyes centralized mobile booking system for port users

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has proposed the creation of a centralized booking system for maritime passenger services, akin to airline mobile booking systems here and abroad, to provide convenience to port users and get rid of fixers and scalpers at terminals. Lilian T. Javier, who sits as the department manager for port operations and services at the agency, said with a centralized ticketing system passengers will enjoy a seamless sea journey as this removes the need to queue, provides an assured seat on buses and ships, as well as ...

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Plans to expand Colombo Port capacity to 35 mn TEUs

A passenger ferry service between Kankesanthurai and South India is expected soon to facilitate displaced returnees and pilgrims home, said Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Western Development. Delivering the key note speech at the German-Sri Lankan Logistics Conference held in Colombo yesterday, he said, the government has embarked on a massive development project to develop ports across the country to achieve Sri Lanka’s ambitious target of becoming a maritime hub in the region. Accordingly, the port of Colombo will continue to develop its facilities ...

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Sabah Ports inks MoU with Indonesia Port Corporation

Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd and Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC) or PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Persero) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to explore business potential to enhance bilateral trade and cooperation and port related training apprenticeship, exchange of information and technical assistance for the purpose of improving port efficiency. The MoU entered into signifies a strong commitment by both parties to mutually explore investment and business potentials as well as build capacity and skills for the purpose of increasing port efficiency. Sabah Ports seeks to engage the expertise of ...

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Port Operator Not Hindered By Policy Hold Up

An Indian port operator is supportive of the delayed Major Ports Authorities Bill for its promise of more autonomy to improve operational efficiency. Essar Ports’ Vizag dry bulk terminal in the Port of Visakhapatnam and Paradip dry bulk terminal at Paradip Port fall under the remit of Bill and despite the fact it is yet to be implemented, the Indian government has taken steps to make positive changes to ports, said Rajiv Agarwal, CEO and managing director of Essar Ports. “We have seen the government actively trying to improve operations, ...

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Sri Lanka begins massive project to develop ports

The Sri Lankan government on Friday said it has begun a massive development project to further modernize its ports across the country in order to transform Sri Lanka into a maritime hub in the region. The government information department said in a statement that under this mega development project, the Port of Colombo will continue to develop its facilities for container handling by continuous addition of capacity, advanced handling and processing technology. “The development of the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Port of Colombo will be followed by the ...

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China Big Oil’s Bet on Upstream Pays Off While Fuels Wither

China Big Oil wrapped up a first half that rewarded exploration & production and punished refining. PetroChina Co. and Cnooc Ltd. on Thursday posted stronger earnings, while Sinopec, the fuel-making behemoth, said earlier in the week that profit slid 24% from a year ago. All three delivered on commitments to increase spending, seeking to fulfill President Xi Jinping’s demand for higher energy output. Investors seemed pleased, especially with Cnooc’s cost cutting. The company led gains on the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong on Friday, rising as much as 6.5%. ...

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U.S. oil output falls for 2nd month to 12.08 mln bpd in June -EIA

U.S. crude oil output fell for a second straight month in June, dropping by 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12.08 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report released on Friday. Still, weekly U.S. crude production jumped to a new weekly record at 12.5 million bpd last week, based on separate EIA data. Texas crude output rose by 13,000 bpd to a new record at 4.98 million bpd in while production in North Dakota climbed 36,000 bpd to 1.40 million bpd in June, matching a ...

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Number of U.S. active drilling rigs continues to plunge this week

The number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 12 to 904 this week, 144 rigs down year on year, according to the weekly data released by Baker Hughes on Friday. According to the Houston-based oilfield services company, these active drilling rigs included 742 oil rigs operating in the U.S. oil fields, down 12; 162 gas drilling rigs, remaining level as last week. Of the 904 rigs, 876 are land drilling ones, down 11, and 28 offshore drilling ones, remaining level as last week. The only inland ...

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Johan Sverdrup oil field to load 226,000 barrels per day in Oct.-trade source

The first loading programme for the giant Equinor-operated Johan Sverdrup oil field in Norway lists 11 cargoes in October, a trading source said on Friday after Equinor said loadings could come before a planned November start. This implies that loadings from Johan Sverdrup, the largest North Sea discovery in more than three decades, will average around 226,000 barrels per day in October. Equinor owns 40% of the field, Total 8.4%, Aker BP 11.6%, Petoro 17.4% and Lundin Petroleum 22.6 %. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Noah Browning, writing by Shadia Nasralla)

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Saudi Arabia Creates New Ministry, Shrinking Falih’s Portfolio

Saudi Arabia created a new ministry for industry and mineral resources that’s separate from the current energy ministry, reducing the remit of Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. The shift was part of a series of royal orders by King Salman, issued just before the Islamic new year and reported Friday night by the official Saudi Press Agency. The existing Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, led by Al-Falih, will be renamed the Ministry of Energy and hand over its other files to the new ministry at the start of the ...

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