World’s top traders divided on oil outlook as Iran sanctions loom

The world’s biggest trading houses said on Wednesday they saw oil prices not falling below $65 per barrel and possibly breaking above $100 next year as U.S. sanctions on Iran reduce crude exports from the Islamic republic. The range of views illustrates deep uncertainty among top industry players over the outlook, given the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran and forecasts of slowing economies and energy demand in 2019, potentially leading to choppy trading. While release of U.S. strategic oil stocks to ease the loss of Iranian supplies looked remote and would have limited impact anyway, and a plan by European nations aimed at maintaining trade with Iran was unlikely to help. Some of the traders said, however, they expected some demand destruction in emerging economies to help cap prices. The 2019, forecasters such as the International Energy Agency say emerging-market crises and trade disputes could dent global demand while rising production from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries adds to supply. Read more: