Trump bashes OPEC for 'high' oil prices

Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2018

Oil prices have risen by around 60 per cent over the previous year after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, started withholding output in 2017 to reduce excess supply.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday: "Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again".

Since early in 2017, however, OPEC has coordinated with Russian Federation, another oil-exporting country that is not an OPEC member, to try to regulate global supplies.

"The United States shows by far the biggest gain (about 75 percent of the total across 2018 and 2019), but recently this expansion has not been without stress", the report said, referring to a gap in recent weeks between the USA and European oil futures contracts.

The U.S. move has put pressure on European and Asian clients to stop importing Iranian oil or doing business with the country.

In the United States, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday crude oil inventories rose by 830,000 barrels in the week to June 8, to 433.7 million.

"The demand metrics here are awesome for crude oil and gasoline", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in NY. In response, Saudi Arabia, Iran's rival and the largest producer in OPEC, said it would consider increasing supply.

Total OECD commercial oil stocks-OPEC's current gauge of the oil market rebalancing-were 26 million barrels below the latest five-year average, as per preliminary data for April. The Kingdom self-reported a production increase of 161,400 bpd to 10.030 million bpd, just below its ceiling of 10.058 million bpd.

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.

OPEC and various non-OPEC oil producers are set to convene in Vienna later in the month to discuss future production.

"More oil from OPEC plus is the base case", said Bjarne Schieldrop, analyst at Swedish bank SEB.

The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices.

The agency is forecasting global oil demand will grow by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019 - topping 100 million bpd in the second quarter of the year.

Fund manager Pierre Andurand at Andurand Capital is bullish.