Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sanctions send Russian Urals crude prices down in Baltic, Mediterranean markets

The trading price of Russian Urals crude oil continues to weaken due to falling European refining demand and sanctions imposed by Western nations.

Urals crude dropped to $98 per barrel on Monday, marking the eighth consecutive day of price decreases in both the Baltic and Mediterranean crude markets. Monday's trading price represents the first time in a calendar year that Urals crude traded at less than $100 per barrel, according to The Moscow Times.

The Russian government initially included calculations of $114 per barrel in its 2014 budget as the projected average trading price of Urals crude. However, analysts predict that the market price of Russian oil exports will continue to decline as tensions between Russia and the rest of Europe continue to escalate over the conflict in Ukraine.

Declining oil prices are likely to heavily impact that Russian stock market as well as the value of the ruble. Approximately half of Russia's $2 trillion economy is dependent on energy-related taxes as supplements for budget revenues, according to The Moscow Times.

"The geopolitical premium has fallen close to zero," one analyst from Nordea Bank said, The Moscow Times reports.

Nordea analysts further predict that the Urals crude will face an increased amount of pressure to sell in September, as forecasts and loading dates show healthy supply levels.