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Watch: Market Movers Asia, Sep 16-20: Oil prices surge after Saudi attacks; major buyers in Asia hold adequate oil reserves

This week on S&P Global Platts Market Movers, with agriculture associate editor Brian Ng: All eyes are on oil prices after the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities over the weekend. Saudi Arabia confirmed that the attacks resulted in a temporary loss of 5.7 million b/d of oil output, which is close to 60% of their production, putting a dent on global supply. In the initial reaction to the news, ICE front-month Brent rallied nearly 20% to $71.95 a barrel while NYMEX front-month crude futures surged by as much as 15% to $63.34 per barrel. But prices pulled off their highs as the market digested a tweet from US President Donald Trump saying he has authorized a release of US strategic oil stocks "if needed, in a to-be-determined amount" to keep the oil market well-supplied.

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This week: all eyes are on oil prices after the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities over the weekend. Saudi Aramco confirmed that the attacks resulted in a temporary loss of 5.7 million barrels per day of oil output, which is close to 60% of their production, putting a dent on global supply.

In the initial reaction to the news, ICE front-month Brent rallied nearly 20% to $71.95 a barrel while NYMEX front-month crude futures surged by as much as 15% to $63.34 per barrel. But prices pulled off their highs as the market digested a tweet from US President Donald Trump saying he has authorized a release of US strategic oil stocks "if needed, in a to-be-determined amount” to keep the oil market well-supplied.

With geopolitical risk back in focus, S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates oil prices could test $80/b in the coming days.

With the impact of the Saudi attacks becoming clearer, how high do you think crude prices could go? Share your thoughts with the hashtag PlattsMM.

Zooming in on Asia, major buyers of Saudi crude in the region are unlikely to press the panic button just yet. Crude consumers in both Northeast Asia and India hold adequate oil reserves to cover any shortage of Saudi oil for a few months, and refining companies have a wide range of alternative supply sources.

Still in oil, China's expected cutback in crude imports from Venezuela may provide heavy crude suppliers in other regions an opportunity to sell additional cargoes into Asia's biggest oil consumer over the coming days and weeks.

China's state-run PetroChina will suspend directly buying crude oil from Venezuela, in accordance with US sanctions on the South American producer, company and industry sources said on the sidelines of the S&P Global Platts Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore last week.

To compensate for the potential shortfall in Venezuelan heavy sour crude, a slew of exotic and rare heavy crude brands, including Singma Blend and Malaysian Blend, as well as multiple Canadian grades including Cold Lak and Borealis Heavy Blend, emerged in the latest shopping list of Chinese independent refiners.

In agriculture, the focus remains on China after Beijing reportedly purchased 5 to 10 cargoes of soybeans from the US as a goodwill gesture, following the announcement that US will be delaying additional tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks.

Grain and oilseeds futures moved higher, reacting to China's surprising soybean purchases, along with a bearish supply-demand report from the US Department of Agriculture.

In the steel markets, China's National Bureau of Statistics is expected to publish its August fixed asset investment data. This will give the market some indication of the strength of investments in infrastructure, construction, and property markets – which are key drivers of China's steel demand.

And finally in LNG, market participants expect the spot market to likely be supported amid uncertainties in the European gas market and supply concerns from the Cameron project in the US. But market fundamentals could also show some resistance due to lackluster buying interest from North Asian buyers, coupled with the supply glut situation.

Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us. Have a great week ahead!