Singapore: Oil prices have risen above USD 70 per barrel for the first time since 2014 as investors bet supply cuts led by OPEC will dominate the market this year.
But some traders are sounding a warning – the world’s biggest crude consuming region, Asia, is showing signs of an impending downward correction.
Prices for Brent crude oil futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, have risen by more than 50 per cent since mid-2017 and hit $70 per barrel this week for the first since December 2014. Average Asian physical crude oil prices also moved over $70 per barrel in January.
“A healthy (price) correction could be on the cards,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
One reason, traders say, is that the supply of oil products remains ample. In the last three years, refiners enjoyed high profits because of relatively cheap crude oil, which is used to make fuels like diesel or gasoline.
As a result, Asian refiners processed an unprecedented 23 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in late 2017.
China, by far Asia’s biggest oil consumer, is now producing so much fuel that its refiners have turned to exports to find buyers. And their purchases of crude could fall.
Chinese diesel exports have surged by almost 3,000 per cent since early 2015, to a record of more than 2 million tonnes last December, according to customs data. Its gasoline exports are up by 365 per cent since early 2015, to more than 1 million tonnes in December.
Its total December refined oil products reached a record 6.17 million tonnes, according to customs data announced on Friday.
“This drop in margins could reduce Asian refiners’ demand for incremental crude in the near term and weigh on global (crude) prices,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.
Singapore refining margins, which act as Asia’s benchmark, have slumped by 90 per cent from their 2017 high, to below $6 per barrel this week – the lowest seasonal level in five years.
BMI Research said in a note this week: “In Q1, the balance of risk to Brent (prices) lies to the downside.”
WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices
New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.
Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.
This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.
Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.
Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.
The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.
The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.
Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport
New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.
Three phases of facial recognition technology
First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.
Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.
Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.
The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.
When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.
Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.
Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000
New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.
Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.
The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.
Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.
The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.
“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.