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NBS: N1.23tn Worth of Petroleum Products Imported in 5 Months

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  • NBS: N1.23tn Worth of Petroleum Products Imported in 5 Months

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has valued the cost of imported petroleum products between May and September 2016 at about N1.23 trillion.

This comprised 7.85 billion litres of petrol valued at about N958.28 billion; 2.11 billion litres of kerosene valued at about N254.54 billion as well as 208.53 million litres of diesel which was worth about N25.46 billion within the months in review.

Separately, the statistical agency also put the total number of federal government employees with a retirement savings account (RSA) at 1.85 million as at the third quarter of the year (Q3 2016).

This represented a marked improvement from the 1.82 million workers who were registered in the corresponding quarter of 2015.

It said there were 1.49 million state government employees with RSA in Q3 while the private sector accounted for 3.88 million RSA accounts.
Altogether, there are 7.24 million RSA holders within the period in review compared to 6.74 million in Q3 2015.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has said the country is currently “extremely hungry” for both local and foreign investments, adding that the federal government was doing everything possible to attract investors, particularly, foreign direct investments (FDIs).

He yesterday in Abuja at an interactive session stated that the government is in the process of negotiating a 21st century Nigerian free-trade agreements, with the goal of expanding market opportunities for Nigerian companies as well as looking into the ECOWAS Common External Tariff which had remained quite controversial.

He said already, FDIs worth billions of dollar had been attracted into the country particularly the investments by China and General Electric (GE) in the railway system.

The minister said more investments were required to properly diversify the economy.

He said government is also working to better the ecosystem, adding that small business registration would soon be simplified and made cheaper to encourage local start-ups.

Under the proposed government initiative, it could cost as low as N2,000 to register an SME, the minister added.

Speaking at the interactive session with journalists in Abuja to give a status report on the implementation of the ministry’s growth master plan and objectives, Enelamah said the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), which was suspended in 2014 following allegations of widespread abuse and the accumulation of significant liability on the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCCs), is also expected to resume in 2017.

He said the planned resumption signified government’s determination to expand the volume and value of Nigeria’s exports, diversify export products and improving global competiveness of Nigerian exporters.

The scheme would be included in the budget in order to manage the impact on government revenue and promote transparency, he said.

The minister said efforts were further being made to encourage Nigerians “to consume more of what we produce,” adding that government’s intention was to offer people diverse choice in production of variety of items locally so as to reduce importation.

The minister said his ministry is currently working in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other relevant government departments to support MSMEs through funding.

Specific MITI initiatives currently underway include the GEM (Growth and Employment) initiative in collaboration with the World Bank. More specifically, the GEM initiative has identified 23 IDAs (Industrial Cluster Areas) to support MSME’s with capacity development and launch the ‘BIG platform’ funding initiative to provide funding and training for MSMEs.

He nevertheless assured Nigerians that though the ongoing adjustment processes might be painful in the short term, it will lead to a better economy in the long run.

Enelamah said the ministry was updating Nigeria’s trade policy priorities by working to correct imbalances in the country’s trade relationships and reversing negotiating failures.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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