Brent Plunges below $60
Bloomberg reported today that Iran was offering its main crude grade to customers in Asia at the deepest discount in 14 years. National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), taking a cue from Saudi Aramco, cut its official selling price for January shipment of light crude to a discount of $1.80 a barrel below the regional benchmark. Bloomberg said light crude grade hasn’t sold at such a deep discount since it began tracking the country’s official selling price in March 2000. Iran also deepened the discount for Iran Heavy crude to $3.51 a barrel for January delivery to Asian customers, deepest discount since December 2008.
Meantime, the Brent crude price plunged today below $60 a barrel mark, trading at $59.07 - Crude has fallen 45 percent this year, amid strong signs that OPEC is reluctant to tackle the glut. UAE’s energy minister said on Sunday that OPEC will refrain from cutting output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel.
In Russia, the dramatic central bank decision in wee hours this morning to raise the interest rate to 17 percent failed to slow down the fall of the ruble. In fact ruble dropped to new lows today, trading above 70 rubles to the dollar. The national currency has lost half its value in less than 6 months.