The possibility that the European Union will not impose bans on petroleum Russia after all, Monday’s oil trading was little changed from last week’s close – although the demand and supply shortages that have driven prices up lately are stronger than ever.

After people familiar with the case told the media that the government of Hungary signals that any progress on EU talks will likely slip into next month at the earliest, West Texas Intermediate has settled 1 pennyor 0.01 percentto $110.29 per barrel, while Brent settled 87 centsor 0.7%to $113.42.

As well, Saudi Arabia during the mined weekend WE-led efforts to punish Moscow for his invasion of Ukraine signaling that he will continue to support Russia’s role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Bob Yawgerdirector of the futures division at Mizuho Securities United Statesremarked: “We are stuck in a range of $105$116 and we’re looking for a breakout,” and he added that a European embargo on Russia would likely push crude prices to historic highs.

It’s still unclear what will actually happen with the EU: Countering sentiment from anonymous sources on Monday was Marc Rutteprime minister of Hollandwho said when asked if he expected an oil boycott next week, “I’m optimistic about a sixth set of sanctions.”

Robert Habeck, GermanyThe Economy Minister added: “I expect what will happen, as it always does in Europeit’s that some countries will actually get special rights.”

For the record, existing bans in Europe are having little or no impact other than stoking traders’ fears and contributing to higher prices: according to ship tracking data and port agent reports released On Monday, maritime crude shipments from Russia fell slightly in the seven days to May 20, but showed little clear impact from EU restrictions that came into effect on May 15.

A total of 32 tank trucks loaded with approximately 24 million barrels from Russian terminals, bringing average maritime crude flows to 3.44 million barrels per day (bpd), down only 3 percent from 3.55 million barrels during the week ended May 13.

Conversely, many pundits questioned the well-being of the global economy: Kristalina Georgievageneral manager of the International Monetary Funddeclared at the annual meeting Davos economic summit that she did not expect a recession for the major economies, but that she could not rule one out either.

As for the health of the commodity itself, oil remains in a bullish backward state, and the difference between WTI’s two closest December contracts (for this year and in 2023) was close. $13 per barrel, from approximately $11 per barrel a month ago.

In other oil-related news on Monday, the market welcomed Chinaintentions to make changes to its ruinous zero Covid policy whose latest lockdowns have caused economic chaos in major cities; under the current policy, beijing reporting 99 new cases on May 22 (out of a total population of 21.5 million people) gives hope that the blockages will be relaxed.