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    Oil Prices Rise To $49.73 On US, OPEC Speculation

    Oil futures rose yesterday largely prompted by production suspensions in the United States Gulf due to an expected tropical storm and speculation that producers meeting in Algeria next month will act to prop up prices.

    Brent crude futures traded at $49.73 per barrel yesterday, up 47 cents from the previous close.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 45 cents at $47.43 a barrel.

    Oil and gas operators in the US Gulf of Mexico have shut production equal to 168,334 barrels-per-day (bpd) of oil and 190 million cubic feet per day of natural gas as a precaution against a tropical storm, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Monday.

    Oil prices have also been taking direction from speculation that a meeting next month in Algeria of major producers including members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could yield a deal on production levels to support prices.

    “Prices are still finding support from the expectations of an agreement on production caps being reached at the late-September meeting,” Commerzbank said in a note.

    Saudi Arabian energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, told Reuters last week he did not believe an intervention in the oil market was necessary since the “market is moving in the right direction.”

    Iraq, which increased crude exports this month from its southern ports, compared with July, will continue ramping up output, its oil minister said at the weekend.

    Also, the Niger Delta Avengers said it had ended attacks on the nation’s oil and gas industry that had reduced Nigeria’s output by 700,000 barrels a day to 1.56 million bpd.

    But the prospect of a recovery in oil production from Libya happening any time soon was tempered after the head of the country’s National Oil Corp said budgetary delays from the new government were undermining oil production.

    “Oil prices are caught between concerns about over-supply and a strong dollar on the one hand and the prospect of further jawboning from OPEC members that some form of production freeze could be on the cards,” CMC Markets senior analyst Michael Hewson said.

    The huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017, Shell’s chief energy adviser Wim Thomas told Reuters.

    Non-Oil Earnings Drop By $425m On Lower Manufacturing

    Nigeria’s earnings from the non-oil sector dropped significantly in the second quarter of 2016 as manufacturing declined on the receding nature of the economy.

    Non-oil earnings had dropped from $1.02 billion in the first three months of the year to $576.97 million in the second quarter of the year.

    Data from the second quarter economic report released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that the decline was due to a decline in the output by the manufacturing sector. In the first quarter of the year, manufactured products had accounted for 53.8 per cent of the non-oil foreign exchange of the country.

    However, this figure declined to 13.8 per cent in the second quarter, as earnings from manufactured products declined to $79.44 million in the second quarter from $546.38 million in the first quarter, a decline of 85.5 per cent.

    The decline in non-oil exports was also attributed to lower receipts from the food products and minerals export. From $46.22 million in the first quarter, earnings from food products dropped to $30.68 million while mineral earnings dropped from $225.15 million to $185.51 million in the second quarter.

    Earnings from agricultural products, however, rose from $87.53 million in the first quarter to $196.87 million, while industrial earnings rose slightly to $84.34 million from $79.97 million.

    Meanwhile, data from the CBN showed that foreign exchange inflow and outflow through the apex bank were $5.89 billion and $6.09 billion respectively in the second quarter of 2016 . This resulted in a net outflow of $0.20 billion, compared with the net outflow of $0.54 billion in the preceding quarter.

    Relative to the level at the end of the preceding quarter, inflow increased by 49.3 per cent, but was a decline of 15.6 per cent, compared with the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2015.

    The development, relative to the preceding quarter, was due to the increase in both oil and non-oil receipts. Similarly, outflow rose by 35.7 per cent above the level in the preceding quarter, but was 25.7 per cent lower than the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2015. The development relative to the preceding quarter was driven mainly by interbank sales, swaps and third party MDA transfer.
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