Oil markets: OPEC at the center

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An aerial view of tankers anchored near the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles amid the coronavirus pandemic April 28, 2020 off Long Beach, California.Mario Tama | Getty Images

Oil slipped in early Asian trade on Monday as traders were considering a technical OPEC meeting this week which is expected to recommend easing supply cuts that supported crude prices.Brent crude fell 27 cents to $ 42.97 per barrel at 0:11 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate crude was $ 40.27 per barrel, down 28 cents.

Oil has changed little over the past week, as a resurgence in coronavirus cases has prompted several U.S. states to impose more stringent travel restrictions that could dampen the recovery in demand for oil from the world’s largest consumer.

However, prices rose more than 2% on Friday after an upward revision by the International Energy Agency of its 2020 oil demand of 400,000 barrels per day.

Oil prices rebounded sharply from decades-long lows in April after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC +, cut production from ‘a record 9.7 million barrels per day for three months since May.

The OPEC Ministerial Joint Monitoring Committee (JMMC) will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to recommend the next level of reduction.

OPEC and Russia are expected to ease supply reductions as global demand for oil rebounds and prices rebound.

“The expected easing of OPEC + production cuts next month … and a potential rebound in US production could add supply pressure,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp in a note.

Libya exported its first shipment of crude oil in six months on Friday after a blockade by eastern forces, but then re-imposed force majeure on all oil exports on Sunday.

His National Oil Corp accused the United Arab Emirates of instructing the eastern forces in the Libyan civil war to reimpose the blockade.

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