Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices

Nellie Chapman | 13 June, 2018, 19:52

Donald Trump and Iran exchanged sharp words over oil prices on Wednesday, with Tehran accusing the USA president of contributing to volatile prices after he withdraw from a global nuclear arms deal last month. Investors are looking for signs of whether OPEC will reach a consensus on boosting production, with the group set for a fractious meeting in Vienna next week.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, started pumping less in 2017 to reduce a global crude glut.

Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, fired back quickly at Trump's words.

"The prospect of easing supply curbs from OPEC-led producers continues to be reflected in oil's overall depressed price", said Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM. The U.S. has lobbied Saudi Arabia and other members, arguing they need to raise output by 1 million barrels a day to keep prices in check, people told Bloomberg News earlier this month.

The world's top crude producers are key partners in the OPEC+ deal, which is created to prop up oil prices by cutting global output. "Not good!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday after last raising the issue in April. "The withdrawal from OPEC + will not be discussed", he said, confirming that Putin's meeting with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia will be held on Thursday.

US crude stocks fell more than expected last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories dropped, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"To make up for the losses, we estimate that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 mb/d and there could be more output from Russian Federation on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non-OPEC supply numbers", it added.

After Trump tweeted his unhappiness with the price of oil in April, the price of oil fell. Prices nationwide have edged up toward $3 United States a gallon as the USA hits its peak summer travel season, still less than the $4 US a gallon in 2008 during the 2007-2009 Great Recession.