OIL: CURRENCY DEPRECIATION
Widely traded futures contracts for North Sea Brent crude oil in global financial markets are typically priced in U.S. dollars (USD). The appreciation, or increase in value, of USD against most other currencies since last summer can either mitigate or exacerbate the effects of the recent sharp decline in USD-denominated crude oil prices, depending on whether a particular country is a net importer or a net exporter of crude oil.
For example, the price of Brent crude since July 1, 2014, declined by 56% through January 21 in USD. However, given the depreciation of the Indian rupee and Turkish lira against the U.S. dollar over the same period, Brent crude prices in terms of those currencies fell by only 55% and 52%, respectively. Turkish and Indian consumers are therefore experiencing a lesser decline in the cost of imported oil products than consumers in countries that use USD or currencies with lesser or no depreciation against the USD.
In contrast, producers in countries that are net oil exporters, like Canada and Norway, find that the percentage decline in the price they receive from oil sales is lower than the decline in USD terms when they convert their oil sales revenue from USD to Canadian dollars or Norwegian kroner. The price of Brent crude in these currencies has fallen only 49% and 46%, respectively, since July. Because some producer expenses, like wages and taxes, are primarily denominated in the home currency of the country where production occurs, the depreciation of the currencies of crude exporters against the USD is partially mitigating the adverse effects on producers of the recent fall in crude prices.
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BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.