Oil prices fell as Saudi Arabia poured cold water on a potential deal with other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members and other countries such as Russia. China is threatening to place tariffs on sugar imports.
Crude Oil Selloff
Crude prices are selling off today, aided by Saudi comments that a decision will not be forthcoming from next week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Algiers.
Many had thought that OPEC was close to reaching a deal to curtail production for up to a year with its members and non-member producers such as Russia, but the Saudi announcement makes it highly unlikely that any deal will happen soon now.
Saudi Arabia has made production by regional rival Iran an issue in any deal to constrain production. The Saudis say Iran must abide by any deal just like other member-states and Iran and its allies say Iran should be allowed to bring its capacity up to full production, as it just re-entered markets after decades of sanctions, before it starts to cut.
China Explores Sugar Tariffs
China has launched a probe into soaring sugar imports following complaints by its domestic industry, the government said on Thursday, the latest sign that trade tensions between major commodities producing nations is intensifying.
The Ministry of Commerce said the probe will look at imports since 2011 and into possible protectionist measures provided by foreign countries for their producers. It will last six months, with an option to extend the deadline, it said.