Oil futures fell sharply Friday, posting their biggest daily loss in two months on skepticism that the world’s largest exporters can cooperate and ease a supply glut that has dragged down prices for two years.
Crude dropped just before noon after Bloomberg News reported Saudi Arabia doesn’t expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach an agreement when it meets Wednesday in Algeria’s capital. The comments echo those made last weekend by the group’s secretary-general to Algeria’s state news agency APS that the meeting is informal and not for decision-making.
Traders “are reacting with disappointment and disgust,” said Donald Morton, senior vice president at Herbert J. Sims Co., who runs an energy-trading desk.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery settled down $1.84, or 4%, to $44.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the largest daily loss since July 13 and erased most of the gains from a four-session winning streak. Nymex crude ended the week up 86 cents, or 2%.
Brent, the global benchmark, lost $1.76, or 3.7%, to $45.89 a barrel. It ended the week up 12 cents, or 0.3%.
Saudi Arabian and Iranian oil officials have clashed this week over production limits while meeting at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Saudi Arabia and Iran couldn’t agree on what statistics should be used to determine oil output levels for a potential “freeze”—the term used to describe a joint effort by big producers to limit their petroleum output at the current pace or lower.
Short bursts of optimism have often been broken by news of internal disputes and by widespread skepticism from analysts and traders about OPEC’s ability to strike a deal. Heavyweights including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have longstanding political rivalries and have been in a fierce competition to undercut each other and sell more oil.
Analysts at Macquarie Group issued a note Friday advising traders to sell on almost any outcome from OPEC’s talks. A concrete deal with detailed parameters on output limits from all parties is the least likely outcome, and even if they do reach a deal, it is likely to be littered with exceptions and waivers, and at best lead to a short-lived rally, the bank’s analysts said.
“Even an agreement to freeze would not be bullish either, given how high current production levels are. The only bullish case would be a credible and significant supply cut, which as it stands right now is extremely unlikely,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates.
At 11 million barrels a day, Russian production levels are at their highest since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Commerzbank commodities researchers. “The supply of crude oil remains ample, in other words,” the bank’s analysts added in a note Thursday.
Prices have often been bolstered by rhetoric from major OPEC producers since late August when they broached the idea of informal talks and better cooperation. Saudi Arabia and Russia this month signed an oil-cooperation agreement. OPEC oil chief Mohammed Barkindo last weekend said that if agreed by all parties, an emergency meeting could be called later this year to solidify a policy. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro also has said OPEC and non-OPEC members were close to a deal.
“There’s a chance of success,” said Robert Minter, investment strategist at Aberdeen Asset Management, which had $402.8 billion in assets under management at the end of June. “It would at least show that they can once again act together and achieve a consensus.”
A senior OPEC official was quoted by the Journal as saying that OPEC has to keep the chatter going, “to make sure prices don’t fall to a certain level or rise to a certain level they don’t like, and recently we have seen a lot of that.”
Gasoline futures settled down 2.49 cents, or 1.8%, at $1.3769 a gallon. They lost 5.8% for the week, the worst performance since the week ended Sept. 2.
Diesel futures lost 4.69 cents, or 3.2%, to $1.4073 a gallon. That canceled out nearly all the gains from the week, which diesel finished up just 0.2%.
Npower News on Permanency for Batch A, B
Npower News on Permanency for Batch A and Batch B
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, recently said the exited and eligible N-power beneficiaries will be absorbed into government programmes and by private organisations for a permanent job.
On N-power Permanency, she said “We have directed Focal Persons of National Social Investment Programmes in the states to submit an updated list of the exited N-Power beneficiaries that are interested in participating in the transition plans of the ministry.
On stipend, she said the payment has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and outstanding stipends paid to exited N-power beneficiaries of Batch A and B.
“Meanwhile, approval has been given for the payment of the outstanding stipends for the exited N-Power Batches A and B beneficiaries.
“The approval for payments for up to the month of June, 2020 for the two Batches has already been forwarded to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) for final checks and payments.
“The only outstanding approval waiting to be forwarded to AGF’s Office is for the payment of July Stipends for batch B beneficiaries,” she said.
The minister said she has requested the details of those affected and the reasons for their rejection. She promised to communicate that to the affected beneficiaries.
Several organisations and stakeholders have called on Federal Government not to disengage Batch A and B beneficiaries but rather absorbed them into government parastaNpower News on Permanencytals to further ease the unemployment rate.
Appealing to Federal Government, Umuahia, National Chairman of Isun Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Sir Isaac Nkole said, ”The introduction of N-Power stands out as one of the best policies of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari. A lot of graduates have been engaged through the scheme. Some of them are in N-Teach, N-Agro, N-Tax and N-build. I appeal to President Buhari not to listen to anyone advising him to disengage the beneficiary as being speculated that the programme will be stopped by the 26th of this month.
“The questions are; If you disengage these graduates that are helping to improve the quality of education in primary schools, where do you want them to go? Is it to the over-saturated labour market or the crime industry?”
Visa and She Leads Africa Partner to Deepen Support for African Female Entrepreneurs
Visa, She Leads Africa Partner to Deepen Support for African Female Entrepreneurs
Visa Inc and She Leads Africa, an organisation that empowers female entrepreneurs in Africa, have joined forces to deepen support for over 700,000 African female entrepreneurs.
According to a statement put out by Visa, the partnership is part of Visa’s ‘Where you Shop Matters’ initiatives launched earlier in June to champion and enable entrepreneurs across Africa.
The global payment company said women are the backbone of African economies. The company backed this up with the 2018/2019 report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Entrepreneurship that estimated that 21.8 percent of women from sub-Saharan Africa are entrepreneurs, the highest in the world.
Corine Mbiaketcha, Visa General Manager for East Africa, said “our partnership with She Leads Africa, will enable us to engage over 700,000 female entrepreneurs across Africa through digital channels and direct engagements with female-owned businesses.”
Afua Osei, Co-Founder of She Leads Africa, said “we are so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Visa to support the incredible women in our community with learning and growth opportunities. Our community is passionate and committed to making an impact with their businesses and partnering with Visa enables us to share resources that will help them take it to the next level.”
African women entrepreneurs continue to face a myriad of challenges ranging from cultural barriers that require overcoming the narrow classification of child-bearer and or home manager, to a shortage of role models, inadequate access to financial assistance and limited educational opportunities.
Mbiaketcha concludes, “There are too many reasons why female-led organisations fail to flourish and we as Visa are committed to addressing these challenges by partnering with organisations such as She Leads Africa so that we can empower the next generation of female African businesses owners with the tools to not only survive but to thrive.”
Fuel Scarcity Looms as NARTO Directs Tanker Drivers to Halt Operations
NARTO Tells Fuel Tanker Drivers to Ground Operations
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has directed all tanker drivers under the association to halt operations following the government’s directive banning operations of petroleum trucks more than 45,000 litres on Nigerian roads.
NARTO, the umbrella association of all commercial vehicles owners in Nigeria engaged in the haulage of petroleum products, general cargoes, and movement of goods and passengers within the country and the West-African sub-region, said members of the association will park their truck on Tuesday and Wednesday as warning against the ban.
Speaking on the situation in Abuja, NARTO’s National President, Yusuf Othman, said: “NARTO received with grave shock the recent government decision to place immediate ban on all petroleum trucks above 45,000 litres capacity from plying Nigeria roads.”
Othman explained that government’s sudden ban was insensitive and unappreciative of tankers efforts at strengthening the supply chain of petroleum products across the nation.
He said, “In view of the above, we are therefore constrained to allow the decision of all our members to park their trucks as from tomorrow, 22nd to 23rd September, 2020, to prevail as warning.
“And furthermore, issue 10-day ultimatum with effect from 24th September, 2020, for a full blown withdrawal of service.”
He added, “If such scenarios occur, we earnestly plead with those who will lose employment, income and the general public that will be negatively affected by this avoidable situation.”
NARTO argued that it was discouraging and distressing to abruptly enforced new policy without giving tanker drivers time to phase out affected trucks.
Othman said, “The leadership of NARTO is not in any way against the decision of the Federal Government to ban the use of trucks with more than 45,000 litres capacity in the conveyance of petroleum products considering the dilapidated state of Nigerian roads.
“But NARTO is particularly concerned about the sudden and prompt nature of the ban. We consider the approach to be highly insensitive to the huge investments the owners of these trucks have made and debts they incurred in executing the mandate given by previous administration.”
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