Crude oil prices slip in cautious trading ahead of OPEC+ meeting

Crude oil prices slip in cautious trading ahead of OPEC+ meeting

Crude oil prices slip in cautious trading ahead of OPEC+ meeting

OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) had been scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday, yet, the group postponed talks on oil output policy for 2021 to Thursday as key players still disagreed on how much oil they should pump amid weak demand due to the pandemic, according to a report by Reuters on Monday.

Futures were 0.7 per cent lower in NY.

Asia's recovery, meanwhile, gathered pace.

"OPEC+ is stuck between a rock and a hard place because near-term indicators show Europe and US demand is weak, but Asia is stronger", said Vivek Dhar, a commodities analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

However, BCS Global Markets, while bullish, warned that there is substantial supply waiting in the wings from OPEC+ and "hyper-dynamic USA shale producers itching to drill again.[rig activity] was rising steadily this fall, even before oil began its most recent rally, and we think that as oil prices head towards $50 per barrel, a key inflection point may be crossed, accelerating USA oil drilling activity and, with a small lag, oil production". Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman signaled his dissatisfaction with the situation on Monday by telling others he may resign as co-chair of a committee that oversees the output deal.

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The main cause of the friction at the meeting seems to be centered on some oil ministers looking to keep cuts for another three months, the United Arab Emirates issues with quotas and Kazakhstan's problems with an extension.

"Signs of disunity in OPEC raised the prospect of the group not agreeing to an extension of current production cuts", ANZ analysts said.

"Some kind of compromise is still very, very likely to be reached", said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB AB. "And the reason is of course that we are getting increasingly closer to the Covid-19 endgame".

Abdelmadjid Attar, energy minister for Algeria and current president of OPEC, said there was "consensus at the OPEC level" to extend current supply cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for another three months; the talks will continue on Tuesday. Indian diesel sales in November dropped year-on-year after a festive boost in consumption proved fleeting, while a slow Thanksgiving for USA gasoline demand is foreshadowing what will likely be a tough season for fuel producers.

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