Saudis Deny Report of Discussion About OPEC+ Oil-Output Hike
Comment of the Day

November 21 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Saudis Deny Report of Discussion About OPEC+ Oil-Output Hike

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here it is in full:

Saudi Arabia denied a report that it is discussing an oil-production increase for the OPEC+ meeting next month, and said it stands ready to make further cuts if needed. 

Crude futures pared earlier losses, trading 1.8% lower at $86.04 a barrel as of 5:18 p.m. in London. 

“The current cut of 2 million barrels per day by OPEC+ continues until the end of 2023,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a statement via the Saudi Press Agency. “If there is a need to take further measures by reducing production to balance supply and demand, we always remain ready to intervene.”

Oil futures earlier dropped as much as 6.1%, dipping below $85 a barrel for the first time since September, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the kingdom and other members of the group were considering raising output by as much as 500,000 barrels a day. 

That would have been a major reversal after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies decided in October to cut production by 2 million barrels a day. US President Joe Biden has slammed the move, saying it endangers the global economy and aids fellow OPEC+ member Russia in its war in Ukraine.

After an initial rally following the cuts agreement, crude prices have declined as the economic outlook deteriorates and China continues to grapple with Covid-19 outbreaks. OPEC twice reduced its forecasts for global oil demand, and Prince Abdulaziz has said the group will remain cautious due to “uncertainties” about the health of the global economy. 

Saudi Arabia has already cut oil exports sharply this month to deliver on the OPEC+ agreement, according to data from energy analytics firm Kpler Ltd. The cartel’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4.

Eoin Treacy's view

The oil market is very finely balanced so it is unlikely there will be a unanimous agreement to cut or increase supply. The global economy is slowing and China will be grappling with the coronavirus for at least the next 18 months. At the same time, European sanctions on Russian oil are due to go into effect in the next coupe of weeks and that is likely to be a significant source of volatility.

Brent crude reversed an earlier decline to finish almost unchanged and left a long tail on the daily candle. That suggests a low of very short-term significance and increases scope for a retest of the $90 area. This is still a surprisingly inert trading environment for crude oil. It will not last indefinitely but today’s action suggests the bulls are not quite yet ready to give up on the upside.

The Energy SPDR reversed an earlier decline to confirm short-term support at the lower side of the shallow consolidation in the region of the previous peaks.

Energy often tends to spike and sustain high prices heading into the recession, and not least because the high price siphons money away from spending power. The longer oil prices stay high the more likely we are heading for a deep recession.

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