Oil Prices Slip Marginally As US Raises Output Forecast

Taiwo Adekeye, FMVA

March 13, 2024

Oil experienced a slight decrease on Tuesday, this drop was influenced by two main factors: a forecast for U.S. crude oil production that exceeded expectations and negative economic data. Despite these factors, the decline was restrained by ongoing geopolitical tensions, preventing a more significant drop in oil prices. Brent futures for May delivery settled 29 cents lower at $81.92 a barrel while the April U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract ended 37 cents lower at $77.56.

India: Retail inflation in India for February exceeds expectations, rising at a faster pace than anticipated.

India’s annual retail inflation in February rose at a pace that is beyond measure due to elevated food prices. Annual retail inflation eased slightly to 5.09% in February from 5.10% recorded in January.  Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose 8.66% in February, compared with a 8.30% surge in January. However, last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left its rates unchanged and signaled it would not lower interest rates until it achieves inflation of 4% on a durable basis. The apex bank expects inflation of 5.4% for the current fiscal year that ends on March 31, and has projected 4.5% for the next fiscal year.

Argentina: Food prices soars, people scavenge to survive

The South American Nation Under the leadership of libertarian Javier Milei, the is grappling with its most severe economic crisis in decades. The government’s stringent austerity measures, aimed at tackling triple-digit inflation, are improving the state’s finances but making the entire populace to pass experience difficult times. The government will release February inflation data later on Tuesday, with estimates the monthly rise will come in around 15.3%, down from over 20% in January and 25% the month before. Annually it will remain above 250%.

South Africa: The Rand slips amid us inflation data

South Africa’s rand weakened on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar rose after higher than expected U.S. inflation data. The dollar index was up about 0.26% after data showed inflation rose more than expected last month for the world’s largest economy, reducing the hope of a possible interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in June. The Rand just like most emerging market currencies, takes direction from global factors such as U.S. monetary policy in addition to domestic economic releases. Additionally, South Africa’s benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker, with the yield up 6 basis points to 10.165%.

Ivory Coast: regulators caution cocoa exporters against excessive payments.

Ivory Coast’s market regulator warned cocoa exporters on Tuesday against paying above the mandated price for beans delivered to their facilities at the top growing country’s ports, threatening offenders with fines and the loss of their licenses. Ivory Coast and number two producer Ghana are in the midst of their worst harvest in years, with Ivorian arrivals estimated to be down by more than 28% on last season. However, Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC)   also warned cooperatives and up-country buyers against holding onto beans, saying they were required to sell on their stocks to exporters within 21 days of acquiring them.