Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Trump slams OPEC as IEA anticipates near-term oil price relief

Trump slams OPEC as IEA anticipates near-term oil price relief

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.

Opec producers and non-Opec countries struck a deal in 2016 to trim production by 1.8 million barrels per day to reduce a global glut of oil.

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

The U.S.is putting pressure on OPEC members to increase production as global benchmark prices flirt with US$80 a barrel, raising pump prices in the months before the U.S. votes in midterm elections that could decide which party controls Congress.

"Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again".

After peaking in May at $80.50 a barrel, prices have pulled back, with the price of Brent crude trading on Wednesday near $76 at barrel, partly in anticipation that the deal may end, and as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have already started increasing production. On April 20, Donald Trump took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel's push for higher prices.

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

With output in Russian Federation rising back above 11 million bpd in June and Saudi production climbing back above 10 million bpd, supplies from the top three producers are increasing.

USA ally Saudi Arabia remains OPEC's most powerful member - with enough production capacity to manipulate global supplies.

His tweet comes in advance of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation planned for June 22 in Vienna to discuss easing supply caps that have been in place since the beginning of 2017.

In the United States, rising gasoline prices have threatened to blunt other economic headwinds.

Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above US$150 a barrel in less than two years.

Oil prices across the country have crept up toward $3 a gallon as the USA hits its peak summer travel season - still less than the $4 a gallon in 2008 during the 2007-2009 Great Recession, according to Reuters.

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