Posted at 6:13 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Dear Friends,

Two questions:

In the Puerto Rico default what happened in the universally feared Chapter 9 Bankruptcy that would end the life of the Muni bond market?

Well apparently according to some, an island has no such relief if the USA owns it. Puerto Rico has a person in congress as an observer, but no Senator. Long Island, another playground of the sociopathic 1%, better not get Trump angry with them. Fire Island is toast if you hear someone say President Trump. Thank goodness it is said that a President was born in Hawaii.

Here is another important question. Is today the day someone somewhere figured out what Jim is up to or what they have considered scary risk is actually outrageous opportunity?

Regards,
Jim

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The Saudis are as guilty as it gets. They are a perfect example of “The Lady Doth Protest too Much.” See what Bill has written and said about it on the Premium site. We do a lot of talking there together. We seem to be on the same page but not always for the same reasons. This weekend we chatted for an hour and Bill had to shut me up. It is not the amount treasuries the Saudis threaten to sell – that could be sold on one tick to a few weeks ago. Rather, it is the start or a trickle turning into an unstoppable wave 400 feet high. The dollar sure has gotten the message as it looks for .7900 USDX.

Saudi Foreign Minister Repeats Warning To US Over Sept 11 Law
Tyler Durden on 05/02/2016 18:03 -0400

The biggest financial and geopolitical story from mid-April was Saudi Arabia’s threat that should the US pass a bipartisan law which would take away immunity from foreign governments in cases arising from a “terrorist attack that kills an American on American soil” and specifically could hold the Saudi kingdom responsible for its role in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, then the Saudis would retaliate by selling up to $750 billion in American assets.

Today, the Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, while speaking to reporters in Geneva after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry which mainly focused on Syria, admitted this threat saying passage of the law would “erode global investor confidence in America” by which he was, of course, referring only to Saudi Arabia. However, to avoid another slap in the face of US foreign policy on the record, he denied that Saudi Arabia had “threatened” to withdraw investment from its close ally and instead called it a mere “warning.”

“We say a law like this would cause an erosion of investor confidence. But then to kind of say, ‘My God the Saudis are threatening us’ – ridiculous,” Jubeir hedged according to Reuters.

More…

Posted at 9:55 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

And the beat goes on. China is forcing the US to consider whether or not it has the right to take their ships around the world and dock them where they want. It is definitely a new world.

CIGA Larry C.

China Blocks U.S. Navy Flotilla’s Visit to Hong Kong
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MICHAEL FORSYTHEAPRIL 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government on Thursday denied a Navy flotilla access to the port in Hong Kong, Pentagon officials said Friday, the latest sign of escalating tension between the United States and China.

The rare refusal to allow the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, and several other vessels accompanying it, to visit the port comes two weeks after the Stennis hosted the defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, on a visit to the South China Sea, where the United States is challenging what it sees as excessive maritime claims by China.

During the trip, Mr. Carter criticized the Chinese and said the United States would work with its allies in the region.

“America’s policy continues to be one valued on principles of peaceful resolutions of disputes, lawful settlement of things like territorial disputes like the South China Sea, or anywhere else, freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce,” Mr. Carter said at the time.

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Posted at 3:45 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

How many years have I warned you that the most endangered species on the planet is the person dependent on their pension, you.

UPS Braces For $3.8 Billion Charge As Treasury’s Pension Benefit Decision Looms
Tyler Durden on 04/30/2016 17:45 -0400

As we covered previously, in an effort to remain solvent the Central States Pension Fund has submitted an application to the Treasury for approval to cut member benefits. While some plan participants could see pension incomes cut in half, the fund projects that it will become insolvent by 2025 if nothing is done.

Treasury is set to decide on the matter by May 7th, and as it turns out, the decision impacts more than just current plan participants…

During its Q1 earnings call, UPS told investors that if Treasury approves the CSPF plan to cut benefits, the company would have to take a charge of approximately $3.2 to $3.8 billion.

As part of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters when UPS withdrew from the fund in 2007, the company agreed to provide supplemental benefits to any remaining members in the event that certain benefits were lawfully reduced.

While any income statement impact will be adjusted out by analysts, it will be a significant drain on UPS’ cash flow (UPS generated $5 billion in free cash flow in fiscal 2015) as it funds the benefit gap over time.

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Posted at 10:28 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

RED ALERT WARNING: THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE — Bill Holter
by SGT, SGT Report.com:

Friends, this interview with JS Mineset’s Bill Holter is not for the faint of heart. It contains information you absolutely must share with your friends and family, no matter how closed-minded they are, no matter how many times you may have tried to warn them in the past. This may well be their last chance to protect themselves from an economic calamity so severe that they will never recover.

Holter warns, “I think what we are looking at is an EVENT that you’re not going to be able to recover from. If this market snaps and the markets close, and you’re not in position, you’re out. You’re out for the rest of your life. This is going to be an EVENT that you can’t recover from.”

Link to full article…

Posted at 10:04 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Williams shares the following with us.

- First-Quarter GDP Growth of 0.5% Was Absolute Nonsense
- Residential Investment Contributed 0.5% of the 0.5% Headline Growth, Yet, Housing Starts Contracted Quarter-to-Quarter
- Annual and Quarterly GDP Growth Slowed to Two-Year Lows
- Meaningful Downside Revisions Loom for the GDP
- Declining Velocity of Money Reflected Slowing GDP Activity =

No. 803: First-Quarter 2016 GDP, Velocity of Money, FOMC
www.ShadowStats.com

 

Goldman Sachs Stopped Out Of “Short Gold” Recommendation
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/29/2016 – 11:04

With the Yen and Yuan surging, it appears money is greatly rotating out of US dollars and into an ‘alternative’ currency as Gold soars over $1290.

1760 – 556

More problematically for Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie is his “Short Gold” recommendation just got stopped out…

More…

Posted at 9:42 PM (CST) by & filed under Bill Holter.

Dear CIGAs,

In response to my article yesterday The Chances Of A COMEX Default… (Public Article), Bob Moriarty decided to respond and attack me personally in this article http://www.321gold.com/editorials/moriarty/moriarty042716.html. He claims me to be a “GURU” (an insult according to him), a fool, a bad writer with poor grammatical skills (I agree), with poor logic …and a liar. To start, calling someone a “liar” is a very big leap because it means there is an “intent to deceive” as opposed to just being wrong or even stupid. Moriarty says I “feed people’s fantasies” to entice them to subscribe to our newsletter which is now one month old. I wonder had I written the article over a month ago when all of my work was public what he would have claimed my motives to be? Many have read my work since 2007 at http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/ and dozens of other sites, does anyone see a shift in my logic since those days in order “fool subscribers”?

As for my grammatical skills, I agree, they suck! People do not read my work to make sure whether proper tense or punctuation is correct, they read it for the logic. I try to take complicated subjects and break them down so the average person can understand what is happening. The logic in this case is there are several hundred ounces of gold/silver represented by paper contracts but backed by only one ounce. Put simply, COMEX is a fraud. A call on this contractual metal cannot be met because the metal simply does not exist. I believe when the “call” for delivery comes, COMEX will be forced to declare force majeure and settle with cash. As I asked in the article, is this a default or is it not? In the real world it will make no difference at all whether it is “legally” a default or not, “practically” IT IS! In the real world the prices of gold and silver will have exploded and the “cash” so generously provided by COMEX to “settle” will not purchase the ounces you thought it would. In essence, while gold and silver supplies go into hiding, you will be left holding a pile of devaluing and worthless dollars that will not “buy” what you were promised.

If you want to be “technical”, here are several passages from COMEX rules:

Section 702 of the rules states in part:

“In the event a clearing member fails to perform its delivery obligations to the Clearing House, such failure may be deemed a default pursuant to Rule 802.”

Section 714 of the rules states in part:

“A failure by a clearing member carrying a short futures position to tender a Delivery Notice on or before the time specified by the Clearing House on the last day on which such notice is permitted shall be deemed a violation of this Rule, except that the President of the Clearing House may, for good cause, extend the time to present such notice. Unexcused failure to make delivery shall be deemed an act detrimental to the interest or welfare of the Exchange. In addition to any penalties imposed as provided in Chapter 4, the Clearing House Risk Committee shall determine and assess the damages incurred by the buyer.”

Section 802 of the rules states in part:

“1. Default by Clearing Member

If a clearing member of CME, CBOT, NYMEX , COMEX, or an OTC Clearing Member, (i) fails promptly to discharge any obligation to the Clearing House or (ii) becomes subject to any bankruptcy, reorganization, arrangement, insolvency, moratorium, or liquidation proceedings, or other similar proceedings under U.S. federal or state bankruptcy laws or other applicable law, the Clearing House may declare such clearing member to be in default. For purposes of this Rule 802, each default by a clearing member will be considered a separate default event, provided that if a clearing member has been declared in default, subsequent failures to pay by such defaulting clearing member shall not be considered separate default events unless and until the original default has been fully resolved and such clearing member has been restored to good standing.”

The obvious question is this, if COMEX uses the word “default” in their own legal language then how is it impossible to ever occur? Would they really address an impossibility? While these rules pertain to individual members, what happens collectively were the longs to demand delivery of non-existent metal? What will it be called when collectively the members cannot perform and deliver? “Default(s)” as in “plural” or just one grand default?

Further, Mr. Moriarty wrote “If Mr. Holter and Ted Butler want instead to make an argument that since the short position is so large you will never be able to take delivery because there won’t be any silver, they can say that. Butler did in 2001 and managed to pick the absolute bottom of silver in real terms in 5000 years. Not only was there a lot of silver, it was at a low. There was no shortage then, there is no shortage now.” I would ask this, if far more “paper” silver has been sold than actually exists, isn’t this a “shortage” of real metal in and of itself? Buyers have “paid” for silver that doesn’t even exist. This aids in suppressing price because the paper was used as a “relief valve” to divert real demand into fake supply. Is this not a scam? This by the way is “manipulation” pure and simple, something Moriarty denies. Deutsche Bank has graciously now moved what was “conspiracy theory” into the category of FACT!

After discussions with the CFTC, Harvey Organ has told me “the CFTC insists cash settlement is a no no, gold or ‘equivalent’ must be delivered for settlement”. As a side note, I find it quite odd COMEX which trades in 100 ounce gold bars continually reports “.000″ (triple zero) movements which is a statistical impossibility. They have also been reporting many movements and adjustments that are divisible by 32.15 indicating these are kilo bars. It is also odd because the 100 ounce bars are only 99.5 fine while kilo bars are 99.99 fine, how is this accounted for if kilo bars are used to settle? Something fishy here?

Mention of “naked shorting” definitely needs mentioning because there certainly IS such a thing. One needs look no further than COMEX itself. What exactly are the contracts sold over and above available metal? Or look at shorts in various stocks, there have been times where more stock was sold short than authorized and issued. What would you call this? “Naked shorts” are the reason for the old saying “he who sells what isn’t his’n, buys it back or goes to prison”.

As for fake bars of gold, they have already intermittently shown up at this point. https://www.sprottmoney.com/blog/fake-gold-is-back-hk270-million-discovered-in-hong-kong-nathan-mcdonald-sprott-money-news.html

Rob Kirby is cited in this article saying 6,000 400 ounce bars were discovered in China http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/03.10/phonygold.html. The New York Post reported on fake gold in New York http://nypost.com/2012/09/23/fake-gold-hits-nyc/ followed by more fake gold found in New York https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trMTQBKbZlk. As I see it, when the call for delivery comes, either fake bars, no bars or cash will be the only options available.

When it comes to derivatives, Mr. Moriarty wrote “I only know of three people who seem to understand derivatives. That would be Adam Hamilton, me, and a guy named Jim Sinclair”. He followed later with “Maybe Mr. Holter could get someone to introduce him to Jim Sinclair. Sinclair knows who does and doesn’t understand derivatives. He also knows about commodities and how they cannot default. I don’t think he would dream of charging people $119 a year just to feed people’s fantasies.” Isn’t this interesting? I am not sure I understand, at the beginning of his piece he acknowledges Jim Sinclair as my partner but now someone “should introduce us”? And …there are only three people in the world that he knows of who understand derivatives …and one of them is my partner Jim Sinclair? I’m pretty sure the feeling is not mutual on Jim’s part, he wrote me prior to my first article written

“Bill, I dismissed Moriarty for poor knowledge many years back. His insistence derivatives net out to zero was evidence of real world ignorance. Denial of notional value as total true value is warped logic. Notional value will become full value at that very moment in time they are called on to perform. As long as derivatives have no need to perform they remain unimportant. As you have written, what is a contract worth that cannot perform? COMEX comes immediately to mind. Respectfully, Jim”

I must confess, I wrote poorly and incorrectly when writing “I do want to point out, this is the same man who said a derivatives blowup can never happen.” I should have included “because of ‘notional’ value”. For this I apologize publicly. Failing to include “because of notional value” is the main point to where we disagree. This is where he and Jim Sinclair vehemently disagree. We believe notional value when markets become stressed will become real and TOTAL VALUE. Jim and I believe too much “notional value” is exactly what will cause a de facto default on the COMEX with gold and silver. You see, the notional value of all the futures contracts, the puts and calls, and OTC derivatives simply dwarf COMEX inventories. The derivatives on gold and silver dwarf ALL THE METALS EVER MINED IN ALL OF HISTORY FOR THAT MATTER! THIS is where we disagree. Notional values will ultimately be the root cause of cross party defaults in EVERYTHING …INCLUDING COMEX GOLD AND SILVER!

I am not sure I get it, while talking about markets AND DERIVATIVES blowing up, Moriarty believes none of this can or will happen because of notional value? These derivatives that will blow up are all paper contracts based on stocks, bonds and currencies but not commodities nor silver or gold because those members and exchanges cannot default? I would suggest this, if an exchange settled with bananas instead of copper, that would be a default. Just as if COMEX settled gold or silver with dollars? Are not fiat dollars and physical precious metals the exact opposites of each other? Who wants dollars if they were expecting gold? Technically, under a situation of force majeure, settling in dollars may not be a legal default (though COMEX itself says it is in their own rules)… it is however a real world and de facto default settling in the exact opposite currency to what you were “betting” on as a speculator. Man up and call a spade a spade Bob!

To finish, I would like to address the most egregious personal attack Mr. Moriarty levelled against me. He called me a liar. As he obviously did not know Jim Sinclair and I are partners, he may not have known I was a stockbroker for 23 years and a branch manager for 12 of those. In a highly litigious business world, I worked 23 years without ever an arbitration, lawsuit or any type of settlement. Of more pride, none of my brokers were ever involved in any type of arbitration, lawsuit or settlement. After the Dot Com bust, of the 711 branch offices at AG Edwards, less than one dozen offices were not litigated against. Mine was one of those! A “liar” cannot go 23 years while supervising others and doing business on a handshake and verbal order without being sued multiple times in multiple venues. I tell it as I see it, if you disagree then that is your option. Call me what you want, liar is cannot be one of them.

Mr. Moriarty may not like my spelling or grammar (my schoolteachers did not either!), he may not like or agree with my logic though I believe it is sound. He may believe whatever he would like to, it does not make him correct nor logical. I tried to take the high road with this and simply argue the logic, or lack of. I would hope Mr. Moriarty would extend the same courtesy in the future. Lastly, so sorry for the spelling and grammatical errors but in reality I don’t give a damn!

As an addendum, Jim Sinclair felt it necessary to chime in after reading the above:

“Mr. Moriarty and I had a serious disagreement extremely early in the recognition of the severe problems that derivatives and their financial interdependence threatened the financial community based on lack of full grasp of the impact of bankruptcy a complexity of contract law thereupon many years back. His insistence that derivatives net out to zero was correct in a theoretical and perfect world in which all parties to all derivatives performed as to what and when the contract called for. He even had a professor write an article to sustain his view. What they both missed was the critical financial factor and entirety of the problem OTC derivatives have landed us with in the trillions. His denial of notional value transmuting to total true value in default is under contract law simply untrue. Notional value will become full value at that moment in time they are called on to perform. If either party can’t come up with the huge funds then called for or physical gold, then bankruptcy of one party leads to the initial default. The danger lies should this default be of size to become systemic in nature. If either party to the Comex contract, buyer or seller, fails to perform according to the varied contract stipulation, the agreement under contract law, default occurs and the agreements in nominal value becoming real cash value which is an enormous financial swing. It is in the present discussion to recognize that default occurs at the point of non-performance of the contract. All that Force Majeure does in the Comex contract is to outline a possible form of a solution to which there is no guarantee of.

Under the logical outline by Bill of events you can anticipate, the Comex contract will default by not being able to perform in the contract manner called for. As far as the called for

remedy by the halt that Force Majeure it is also theoretical in a perfect world. This is exactly what Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers faced for the same reason, which broke them both. Bill’s argument is totally correct in the real world of finance”

Standing watch,

Bill Holter
Holter-Sinclair collaboration
Comments welcome bholter@hotmail.com

Posted at 9:16 AM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Dear CIGAs,

Economist John Williams has long predicted the $16 trillion in U.S. dollar assets held outside of America will be sold in a panic. The time draws near for that scenario to unfold, and Williams explains, “When people start selling the dollar, or dollar denominated assets, you will see the value of the plunge.  We have had a remarkable rally in the dollar since mid-2014, and it is up over 30%.  It is going to be going down by more than that, and we are going to be headed to new lows.  We have the waffling of the Fed and the beginnings of the perception that the economy is in serious trouble, which generally would be negative for the dollar.  We have started to see selling pressure on the dollar.  It has been inching lower.  It’s down year to year now. . . . The selling is going to intensify, not only with large central banks, but with corporations that will be beginning to dump their Treasury holdings. . . . Nobody wants to be the last one out the door when you have a panic like this.  It’s not a panic yet, but the potential certainly is there.”

Williams also says, “The dollar will blow up, and when I say blow up, it will collapse. There will be panic selling of the dollar, and that will intensify the inflation.  The problem is they don’t have a way of avoiding it.  If they could somehow get the economy back on track, they would have some room to work, I think, but the economy has never recovered.  That’s being seen now in these revisions.  At the end of this week, we are going to see bench mark revisions to retail sales. . . . So, you are going to see some downside revisions to the retail sales.  You already have it with industrial production, and now you are going to have it with retail sales.  We are very close to turning negative with the first quarter GDP . . . We are in a recession now, and they would be inclined to call it that once they get a contracting GDP, and everything else is beginning to show that. . . . You are going to see a formal recession declaration not too far down the road.  It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.”

So, the Fed sold a grand lie since 2009 that there was a so-called recovery, and there was no real recovery? Williams says, “Effectively, yes.  There was a little bit of a bounce up, but the other numbers show we never really had a recovery . . . They don’t want to come out with a negative forecast, but everybody knows it’s not recovering. . . . The economy is turning down rapidly.  We have a new recession.”

Click here to read the full article…

Posted at 5:35 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

My Dear Pensioner,

You must face the absolute and incontrovertible fact that you are going to be redundant from the majority of your pension, left out in the cold to starve and die, thereby reducing the need of funds by social security, medicare and your pension company. If you are not worried you simply are in total denial.

Do not even think about retirement. If you are retired think about a job. Those that will make it through this experience alive and sane are the already subsistent and those so poor now that they are used to it.

Jim

Major UK Pension Fund Slashes Benefits As Funding Crisis Spreads
Tyler Durden on 04/26/2016 04:00 -0400

As we continue to cover the pension crisis that is unfolding in the United States (recently here and here), it is important to remember that these problems are not unique to just the U.S.

One of the largest educator pension funds in the U.K., the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is implementing significant changes to the plan benefits as it becomes increasingly under-funded, just like its peers in the United States. The changes are drastic, and are meant to keep the fund solvent in order to at least pay some benefits rather than none over time. The plan represents 330,000 members across 400 institutions, according to its website.

The changes were foreshadowed in 2014, when in discussing the funding issues, the USS said “this means it is likely that, given the increased cost of providing future pensions and the need to deal with an increased deficit, higher contributions and/or other responses will be required.”

Upon the completion of the 2014 actuarial valuation, the first of those “other responses” was for the fund update its deficit recovery plan to include employer’s contributing 2.1% of salaries toward the deficit over a period of 17 years.

Following completion of the 2014 actuarial valuation, and further consultation with Universities UK (as the representative body for the scheme’s sponsoring employers), the trustee has updated its recovery plan for addressing the scheme’s deficit. The updated recovery plan requires employers to contribute 2.1% of salaries towards the deficit over a period of 17 years. The trustee has extended the period of the recovery plan following an extensive piece of work, undertaken independently, on the financial strength of the scheme’s sponsoring employers (which is generally referred to as the employers’ covenant). The conclusions from that work confirmed the trustee has reasonable visibility of the ongoing strength of the covenant over a period of 20 years.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Many readers who have followed my work know that my wife Kathryn began painting just over three years ago. Her learning curve has been simply astounding. Kathryn learned two weeks ago she was judged into the Pastel Society of America on her first try. The previous week, she competed in the Austin Pastel Society’s annual juried competition where she won Best in Show and People’s Choice awards competing against over 100 entries. Attached is a photo of her with her portrait “Commanding Presence”, this was only her fourth portrait and had just two years’ experience when she did it. Please expand the photo to see the incredible detail! Her work can be found at http://www.kathrynholter.com/

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Bill Holter-Without Price Suppression Gold Would be $5,000 to $10,000
Greg Hunter

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

If your road to safety sits on the internet you better read the following.

MSM made a big thing out of the theft of almost $100 million but kept the fact that it was from the Swift money transfer system quiet.

Those of you dependent on computer system financial entities to get through the crisis to the other side are really bonkers. Please do not email the name of the internet company you are using. My comment covers everything and anything on the internet. You think Swift did not protect themselves to the limits of tech know-how? They still received a great royal screwing.

Swift: fraudulent messages sent over international bank transfer system
World money exchange tells 11,000 financial institutions to update their software after US$81m was stolen from account of Bangladesh central bank
Tuesday 26 April 2016 02.15 BST

Swift, the global financial network that banks use to transfer billions of dollars every day, has warned its customers it is aware of “a number of recent cyber incidents” where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system.

The disclosure came as law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere investigated the cyber theft of US$81m (£55.9m) from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve. Swift has acknowledged the scheme involved altering Swift software on Bangladesh Bank’s computers to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers.

Monday’s statement from Swift marked the first acknowledgement that the Bangladesh Bank attack was not an isolated incident but one of several recent criminal schemes that aimed to take advantage of the global messaging platform used by some 11,000 financial institutions.

“Swift is aware of a number of recent cyber incidents in which malicious insiders or external attackers have managed to submit Swift messages from financial institutions’ back offices, PCs or workstations connected to their local interface to the Swift network,” the group warned customers.

The warning, which Swift issued in a confidential alert sent over its network, did not name any victims or disclose the value of any losses from the previously undisclosed attacks. Swift confirmed to Reuters the authenticity of the notice.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

The $64 trillion question is this: are the Saudis selling oil to China for yuan or dollars? A very important question with probably a quite obvious answer!

Saudi Spot Oil Deal in China Seen by Citi a `Dramatic’ Shift

April 25, 2016 — 10:27 PM MDT
Updated on April 26, 2016 — 3:06 AM MDT

Saudi Arabia made its first sale of oil to a small, independent Chinese refiner. What’s more significant to markets is that the world’s biggest crude exporter broke from its usual practice of selling via long-term contracts, according to Citigroup Inc.

The world’s biggest crude exporter sold a spot cargo to teapot refiner Shandong Chambroad, said people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential. The 730,000-barrel shipment is expected to load in June from state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s leased storage tank in Japan.

“News that Saudi Arabia is selling a cargo on the spot market to Asia may mark the turning of a dramatic new chapter in the Saudi playbook,” the bank’s analysts including New York-based Ed Morse said in a April 25 report. “What is unusual is that the sale is spot rather than the initiation of a new term contract. Spot sales are about the only way the Kingdom can gain new market share in a world in which chunky buyers are interested in securing incremental purchases via spot rather than term arrangements.”

Oil Politicization

Brent crude is almost 40 percent lower than in November 2014, when Saudi Arabia led a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep pumping to defend market share in the face of swelling global inventories. Aramco will complete the expansion of its Shaybah oilfield by the end of May to maintain the level of its total production capacity, two people with knowledge of the plan said this week. This summer, the Kingdom may be targeting an additional 500,000 barrels a day of sales, boosting daily production to 11 million barrels as power-generation demand peaks, Citigroup estimated.

Saudi Arabia’s output reached a record 10.57 million barrels a day last July, helping to send Brent lower for a third year. Prices rallied from a 12-year low in January amid the potential for agreement between major oil producers to cap output. Futures for June settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange traded up 0.5 percent at $44.70 a barrel at 4:54 p.m. Singapore time.

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