Arab and international
Economy News _ Baghdad
A number of British newspapers published reports on Friday that oil prices rose to their highest level since 2014, accompanied by higher prices for other metals, such as aluminum and nickel.
“Oil Pressure: Crude Prices Reach Their Highest Level in Four Years,” the Financial Times wrote in its front page.
The newspaper said that the rise in crude oil prices to more than $ 74 a barrel pushed energy companies to the forefront of global stock indices.
The increase in oil production in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia over the past 16 months has been accompanied by heightened fears over the effects of Venezuela’s economic crisis and the threat of new US sanctions on Iran.
Brent crude has risen almost 8 percent this year, the paper said.
In the same context, the Daily Telegraph published a report entitled “Oil and metal prices rise after fears of sanctions.”
The paper points to the rise in aluminum prices in the world markets, which are subject to vibrations due to US sanctions on Russia and the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.
Aluminum prices on London’s metal exchange rose 6 percent to $ 2,337 a tonne, the newspaper said.
The lightweight metal has risen 22 percent since the start of the month after US sanctions on a number of Russian companies, which has reduced the ability of one of the largest aluminum producers in the world (Russian company Rosal) to trade in production in the world markets.
Saudi speculation and Trump penalties
The paper also published an analysis by Andy Crichlow, who said that Saudi Arabia’s desire for oil prices to reach $ 100 a barrel raises the risk of speculation in world markets.
The writer says that Saudi Arabia needs such a high price to cover the expenses of economic reforms and the war in Yemen, but “this strategy brings great risks to the markets that prepare,” as he put it.
The writer attributed the reasons for the rise in prices to the unprecedented cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as the group of other oil producing countries, which has cut global crude supplies to 1.8 million bpd since January.
Russia also believes that a price of more than $ 100 a barrel is necessary to counter its economic malaise and to avoid a slow and painful economic bottleneck caused by economic sanctions imposed by the West.
The writer speaks of the fear of Western countries of this congruence of interests between Saudi Arabia and Russia, pointing out that, despite the expectations of many experts on the lack of continuity of the alliance between the two oil giants in the light of the failure of previous experiments, their cooperation seemed continuous despite the completion of the task of reducing production and raise Oil prices.
He sees this as a warning of a new “indefinite energy alliance” that controls almost half of the world’s oil supply, which will bring oil back to more than $ 100 a barrel, which will serve the interests of both sides.
The Guardian published another analysis by Nick Fletcher entitled “Trump sanctions encouraged high oil and mineral prices”.
The writer attributed the reasons for rising prices to OPEC steps to reduce oil production and its agreement with Russia in this regard to protect oil prices.
He believes this has happened even though US oil production threatens to undermine this strategy between OPEC and Russia.
It also reverts to the sudden drop in US oil inventories this week, accompanied by concerns about oil supplies from the Middle East after the military strikes by the United States, Britain and France in Syria.
The report also suggests that the United States is expected to return sanctions next month to Iran, OPEC’s third largest oil producer, over its nuclear program.
Even if Iran is able to evade new sanctions, US President Donald Trump’s move to impose tariffs on iron and aluminum imports and more than 1,300 Chinese goods has raised concerns about a global trade war and its actions against Russian miners and sanctions. Imposed earlier this month by many Russian companies, will continue to have the greatest impact on the rise in oil, nickel and aluminum prices.