Oil prices mixed as OPEC renews call for cuts, lowers demand outlook


Opec›s report said oil inventories in developed economies were above the five-year average in January. The increase in refinery output of petroleum products has outpaced the increase in USA consumption of petroleum products such as distillate fuel oil, gasoline, and propane, leading to an increase in exports. The price of futures contracts of WTI crude oil went up by 0.58% to $58.6 per barrel, TASS reported.

Opec on Thursday cut the forecast of global demand for its oil this year as rivals boost production, building a case for extending supply curbs beyond June to stop any new glut.

Opec sources have said an extension of the pact is the likely scenario.

Production is expected to increase 1.35 million bpd compared to the previous year, but will grow more slowly than the previous forecast of 1.45 million bpd.

Brent crude oil futures hit a 2019-peak of $68.14 per barrel on Thursday before easing modestly to $67.05 by 0840 GMT, up 50 cents or 0.74 percent from Wednesday's close.

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Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

This increase in price was mainly attributed to an announcement from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, reporting that USA crude supplies fell by around 3.9 million barrels last week. Most of the reduction in USA imports was of light, sweet crude oil, as those barrels were replaced by domestic production of a similar quality.

Forecasts slowed USA production to a record of 13 million barrels per day (bps) until the third quarter of 2020, instead of the second quarter of previous forecasts.

The trade volume of petroleum in the United States includes crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas plant liquids, according to EIA. In its March Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA forecasts that the United States will become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products on a monthly basis later this year and on an annual basis in 2020.

Overall Opec output fell by 221,000 bpd month-on-month to 30.55 million bpd. Meanwhile, distillates stockpiles unexpectedly increased by 0.38 million barrels.