- Crude Oil Prices Averaged $48/b Early July
Crude oil prices – that is, Brent crude, Bonny Light crude and WTI Midland crude- averaged $48.07 per barrel, $48.40 per barrel and $44.43 per barrel respectively the previous Thursday, July 5, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has said.
According to data from NBS, a week prior to this, on June 29, Brent crude sold for $47.08/b, Bonny Light crude price at $47.66/b and WTI Midland crude price stood at $44.08/b and ended with Brent crude price of $47.63/b, Bonny Light crude price of $47.80/b and WTI Midland crude price of $44.43/b on July 5.
However, crude oil price broke its streak of seven consecutive higher daily highs, falling to $46.10/b on Friday. It rose modestly the following Monday but rising drilling activity in the United States and uncertainty over Libyan and Nigerian production cuts clouded the future supply outlook.
Brent crude futures rose 0.6 per cent to $47/b while US crude oil futures were yesterday up 0.7 per cent at $44.51/b. Brent crude prices are 17 per cent below their 2017 opening level despite strong compliance by OPEC with the production-cutting accord.
Nigeria and Libya have been invited to a joint meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC on July 24 in St Petersburg, Russia.
Six ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC nations, including Kuwait, Venezuela, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Oman, will meet on July 24 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss the current situation in the oil market.
Two days after (Thursday), oil prices were higher after evidence of stronger demand balanced reports of higher production by key OPEC exporters in a downbeat report by the International Energy Agency. Brent crude rose 63 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $48.37/b by 2:40 p.m. ET (1840 GMT) while U.S. light crude ended the day’s session up 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $46.08/b, CNBC reported.
There is evidence world oil demand is picking up, notably in the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers.
According to CNBC, China imported 8.55 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in the first six months of this year, up 13.8 percent on the same period in 2016, making it the world’s biggest crude importer ahead of the United States.
“We are definitely seeing robust demand growth” in China, said Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
The Paris-based IEA issued a stronger outlook for global oil demand, with consumption in Germany and the United States increasing in recent months.
Still, oil inventories in industrialised nations remain high despite a modest drop in May. OECD stocks are still 266 million barrels above the five-year average, the IEA said.
The agency warned the oil market could stay oversupplied for longer than expected due to rising production and limited output cuts by some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Each month something seems to come along to raise doubts about the pace of the rebalancing process,” the IEA report said.
“This month, there are two hitches: a dramatic recovery in oil production from Libya and Nigeria and a lower rate of compliance by OPEC with its own output agreement.”
OPEC said its production rose by 393,000 bpd in June to 32.611 million bpd, thanks to extra output from Nigeria and Libya.
That came despite a pledge by OPEC to curb production by about 1.2 million bpd between January this year and March 2018, while Russia and other non-OPEC producers say they will hold back about half as much.
OPEC’s compliance with cuts slumped to 78 percent last month from 95 percent in May as higher-than-allowed output from Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Iraq, the UAE and Venezuela offset strong compliance from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Angola, the IEA said.
OPEC said last Wednesday the world would need only 32.2 million bpd of its crude next year, down 60,000 bpd from this year and about 400,000 bpd less than it pumped in June.
Oil prices have dropped in recent weeks to levels not seen since the end of last year as investors lost faith in a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce output, while U.S. shale oil production has risen sharply.
Prices responded only minimally to data Wednesday showing that U.S. crude oil inventories dropped last week by the most in 10 months.
“The market is having difficulty picking its head up,” said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
COVID-19: USAID to Provide $3m Grant, Technical Assistance to Combat Food Insecurity in Nigeria
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing financial grant and technical assistance worth $3 million to combat food insecurity in Nigeria compounded by COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement by the agency on Monday said: “On April 12, 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge that will provide $3 million in grant funding and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in food value chains in Nigeria.”
The statement lamented that Nigeria is experiencing food insecurity compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effects on the food value chain in the country.
It stated that the pandemic has disrupted the already fragile agricultural value chains, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process and distribute food, which has disrupted agricultural productivity and markets, and negatively impacted livelihoods, especially among vulnerable households, women and youth.
The USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, said: “We are launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity.
“This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria.”
The statement revealed that in launching the challenge, USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing, and distribution, noting that successful applicants will present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain increase, agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.
According to the statement, the challenge will award 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and award 10 to 15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each.
Winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their activities to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative impacts of the pandemic.
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