Bloomberg News

Oil Advances as German Exports Increase; OPEC to Meet in Vienna

December 10, 2012

Oil advanced from the lowest close in three weeks in New York after German exports unexpectedly rose in October and China processed a record volume of crude last month. OPEC meets this week to discuss its output quota.

Futures climbed as much as 1 percent as exports gained 0.3 percent from September in Germany, the biggest oil consumer in the European Union. China’s net crude imports increased to the highest in six months in November as the volume processed at the nation’s refineries rose to a record, according to the General Administration of Customs. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably leave its production quota unchanged when it meets Dec. 12, a Bloomberg survey showed.

“Germany’s export growth was encouraging as expectations were for a contraction,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said by phone. “Germany is the key driver of the European economy.”

Crude for January delivery rose as much as 85 cents to $86.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $86.65 at 1:27 p.m. London time. The contract dropped 33 cents on Dec. 7 to $85.93, the lowest close since Nov. 15. Prices slid 3.4 percent last week and are down 12 percent this year.

Brent for January settlement climbed as much as $1.52, or 1.4 percent, to $108.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude’s premium to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate grade widened for a second day to $21.72.

Uptrend Chart

Oil is rebounding in New York after settling for a second day above technical support along an upward-sloping trend line, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This line, connecting the lows of June and November, is around $85.60 a barrel today. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels.

German exports adjusted for work days and seasonal changes increased from September, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists forecast a 0.3 percent decline, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

China bought 23.25 million metric tons of crude more than it exported last month, according to figures released on the website of the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs. That’s the equivalent of 5.68 million barrels a day, up 3 percent from a year earlier and the most since May, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The country processed a record 41.61 million tons of crude in November, equivalent to 10.2 million barrels a day, government figures showed yesterday. China is the world’s second-biggest crude consumer.

OPEC Supply

OPEC will probably maintain its production quota at 30 million barrels a day of oil, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 18 analysts. “Prices are fine and customers are happy,” Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in an interview in Doha on Dec. 7.

The kingdom is the largest producer in the 12-member group, which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s crude.

“The Saudis don’t want prices to go up much from here,” Robin Mills, the head of consulting at Dubai-based Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management, said yesterday. “Some members like Iran may want a cut in production, but the oil price is still healthy so it’s difficult for OPEC members to claim there’s oversupply.”

Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators boosted their bets oil prices will rise, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Net-long positions in futures and options combined were up by 13,434, or 12 percent, to 129,530, the regulator said its Commitments of Traders report on Dec. 7.

In London, hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on Brent to the highest in seven weeks.

Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 111,589 lots in the week ended Dec. 4, the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. The increase of 3,477 contracts, or 3 percent, brings net-longs to their highest level since Oct. 16, the data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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