The current state of oil prices should be enough to catch everyone’s attention in Europe and the United States, but unfortunately, the traders still do not think the OPEC+Russia cartel is serious about restraining supply to maintain higher price levels.
The charts however say otherwise:
If one reviews the chart above, the last time oil broke out like this was into the top of the summer 2022 inflationary rage. Now the media, especially the financial aspects of it, want to create the illusion that this is a regional issue and nothing for the West to worry about.
They should be freaking out however.
After over a year of constant conflict in Ukraine, sanctions against Moscow, and seizure of Russian assets on a global scale, there is still little recognition of the shift happening in global political alignments. The “South” shall rise again is not just an expression from the American civil war, but apparently a reflection of the second and third world nations being held hostage by financiers and political fiefdoms in Europe and North America finally saying enough.
In the past year the world has witnessed the rejection of Francophone colonialism, US hegemony in the Middle East, and skepticism about the actual function of NATO throughout the globe. Now the world is reacting adversely and doing so via the only vessels they have, China, India, and Russia.
The news breaking today from Russia via their national news service TASS is the opening shot:
MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Export duty on Russia’s oil will go up by $2.5 to $23.9 per ton starting October 1, 2023, the Finance Ministry reported on Friday.
“According to the Russian Finance Ministry’s calculations, export duty on the Russian oil will rise by $2.5 to $23.9 per ton starting October 1, 2023,” according to the ministry’s statement.
Currently, the export duty on oil reaches $21.4.
The average price of the Urals crude oil amounted to $77.03 per barrel, or $562.3 per ton, in the monitoring period from August 15 to September 14, 2023, according to the ministry. At the same time, the price of North Sea Dated oil for this period was $88.61.
Thus by slightly increasing the prices to their favorite customers, which does not include China or India by the way as they have already locked in long term contracts, the inflationary impacts on those European nations still buying Russian products will be felt immediately.
The Russo-Ukraine War however provides another indication however that harsher economic measures might be approaching this autumn and winter. From OilPrice.com:
Russia is again reviving the possibility that it could ban all crude oil product exports in order to stabilize volatile fuel prices in the country, according to Russia’s TASS new agency said on Friday.
Alternatively, Russia could increase its oil product exports duty to $250 per tonne. This duty will be refunded for those companies that meet their quota for supplying fuel to Russia’s domestic market.
A ban on product exports out of Russia—although temporary—would squeeze Europe’s diesel supplies even more. While Europe has banned the importation of Russian-sourced refined products as of February, it merely shifted trade patterns, with Russia increasing its refined products exports by 50% year over year as of the first quarter by increasing shipments to Africa.
The news comes even as Gazprom’s Astrakhan gas processing plant resumed gasoline output after maintenance work. Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said earlier this week that there were a number of oil refineries that were due to be brought back online after maintenance work—Astrakhan being just one. The end of maintenance work on the refineries could go a long way in easing Russia’s domestic fuel crunch, and could negate the need for a ban on the country’s exports.
Russia has been considering a fuel export ban since May in an effort to avert domestic fuel shortages and rein in prices after announcing a halving of subsidies to oil refiners that will start this month in order to keep more money in government coffers to fund its military operation in Ukraine.
The results of such a ban on top of increased duties means that the inflationary tidal wave washing ashore in Europe, Japan, and the United States is not about to abate. Russia and Saudi Arabia are aware of this and will tolerate stagflation in the West as long as capital flows with Asia remain unimpeded by American and British threats of action which will never happen.
With this in mind, inflation is about take a leg back up into the higher range that the Fed failed to account for as Brent Crude will remain in a $95-$120 range throughout the winter months. God help everyone however if it breaks out above $120-$125 and heads up towards $150 per bbl as none of the central banks are prepared for this type of economic debacle in the West.