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Commodities

OPEC+ to reduce production cuts in August to 7.7 million barrels a day

OPEC+ is preparing to increase production in a period demand picks

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OPEC+ to reduce production cuts in August to 7.7 million barrels a day

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies have agreed to increase crude oil supply starting from next month, as demand continues to rise to pre-pandemic levels.

OPEC+ agreed to reduce the daily production cut from 9.6 million barrels a day to 7.7 million barrels a day from August. The reduction in cuts was backed by both Saudi Arabia and Russia, including other participating oil ministers in the virtual conference.

This comes nearly 3 months of production cuts after oil fell to peak lows in April, last month OPEC production reached its lowest level in nearly 30 years since the gulf war. The decision to taper the previous reduction was expected earlier today as the body also talked on extended production cuts for countries like Nigeria, Iraq, and others for not meeting their production cuts for the months of May to June.

However, the risk remains on the strength of a demand recovery as the virus seems to be rebounding in the United States. Saudi Oil Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman revealed that the extra supply due to the already planned ease of production cuts will be consumed as demand rises. He added that economies globally are beginning to reopen, however, “this is a cautious and gradual process. The recovery signs are unmistakable.”

READ MORE: OPEC launches Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB)

Nigeria’s position: OPEC expects the increase in supply to be offset by countries like Nigeria that did not meet full compliance on production cuts. Nigeria will join Iraq and Angola by engaging in a further 842,000 barrels a day of cuts through September. It is still unclear if Nigeria and the other defaulting members would be able to meet production cuts compliance as Nigeria has historically failed to meet production cuts numbers before.

Prince Abdulaziz, who has made it his mission to end the quota cheating that has dogged OPEC+ since its inception in 2016, said these compensation cuts are a crucial principle and the group must resist the temptation to relax.

OPEC+ is preparing to increase production in a period demand picks as Prince Abdulaziz has ensured that no country heats on its production cuts, adding that its essential the group cuts and increases production with one voice. The organization cut production to almost just 10% of global supply which enabled prices to rebound to over $40 after April’s lows.

Russia says the tapering goes in hand with the current rising demands and expects output hikes to be consumed in markets of OPEC members as it local demands recovers. Saudi Arabia expects flat exports next month as demand rises locally.

 

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Commodities

Oil gains 15% in February, as Saudi Arabia’s output curbs help

Oil prices rose for a fourth straight month, despite its heavy plunge at the last trading session of the month.

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Crude oil prices, bonny light, 4 key reasons why Brent crude might slip back to $35 per barrel, Crude oil prices resume weekly gains as demand picks up 

Oil prices rose for a fourth straight month, despite their heavy plunge at the last trading session of the month.

British-based oil contract, Brent crude, which is the international benchmark for oil, settled at $64.42, down 3.7% on the day. For the week, it however rallied up by 2.5%. For the month, it was up 15%, extending gains in January, 9% in December, and 27% in November.

  • Brent crude also hit a 13-month high of $66.81 in February. Oil traders will now be looking at the all-important meeting led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries with allies steered by Russia, which is to meet in the coming days to set output quotas for April.
  • The Saudis had contributed massively in supporting crude oil prices last month when they pledged to make these extra curbs only this month and March, but some see signs that suggest a change in such status quo.

Saudi Arabia, the leading oil producer after the United States, is OPEC’s most important producer as it has proven reserves equivalent to 221.2 times its annual needs. This means that, without Net Exports, there would be about 221 years of oil left.

That said, OPEC has 70% of the world’s proved crude oil reserves. Venezuela leads the title for the highest crude oil reserves with 304 billion barrels, followed by Saudi Arabia with 298 billion barrels.

Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, in a note to Nairametrics, gave insightful macros that could weigh on oil prices in the short term.

“Stronger US dollar, especially against Asia EM and higher bond yields, lead to the selling of long-duration assets. And given the massive overweight of “long duration, infinite growth tech” at the index level, stocks are capitulating.

“And the domino effect is starting to hit commodities like oil triggered by a correction in the reflation trade due to higher US yields that are becoming a significant source of market volatility.

“Next week’s OPEC+ meeting has more potential to be damaging than a positive catalyst given the optimism now priced into oil and the likelihood the group takes steps that could prompt a round of profit-taking,” Innes stated.

What to expect

Still, oil traders anticipate such corrections are likely to be short-lived given evidence of an ongoing demand rebound and the likelihood that oil markets remain tight this year.

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Commodities

Gold posts worst monthly decline since 2016, as U.S dollar keeps rising

The precious metal posted its worst monthly decline since 2016 as gold prices broke below the $1,750 support.

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Nigeria Mining Sector shows growth prospect despite low bank credit provision, Gold hits eight-year high as global recession sentiments strengthened, Gold hits three weeks high, Investors rush to gold, Gold Future Drops to $1727.80 as Tensions Escalate between America and China, Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention, FG inaugurates gold refinery project in a landmark event

Gold has of late been under immense pressure, as the Dollar Index surged to a one-week high of 90.8. The safe-haven currency is an outright alternative to gold and typically pressures gold when it gains.

The precious metal posted its worst monthly decline since 2016 as gold prices broke below the $1,750 support at the last trading session of the week, following most commodities and global stocks lower for a second straight day as global investors readjusted their portfolios.

With Friday being the last trading session for the month of February, it wrapped up the month with a 6.6% decline, its worst since a 7.2% decline in November 2016.

 

Gold for April delivery lost about 2.6% to settle at $1,728.80 per ounce. It earlier plunged to $1,715.05, its lowest point since a June 8 bottom of $1,700.10.

For the week, the precious metal contract lost about 2.7% in value, following through with the previous week’s drop of 2.5%.

Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, in a note to Nairametrics, spoke on other prevailing macros weighing heavily on gold prices

“The rise in real yields has seen gold under pressure with everyone selling. Although positioning is cleaner, the overall market is still long, and ETF selling negatively affects the market on actual position clean out rather than just speculative sell-off. Which is more worryingly an early sign of a capitulation.”

Bottom Line

Gold traders are not keen on going bullish, at least for the near term, on the bias that rising U.S Treasury yields see investors showing less interest in the yellow metal.

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Commodities

Oil prices plunge on surging U.S. dollar

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down by  0.6%, to trade at $63.17 a barrel thereby giving up all of Thursday’s gains.

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Oil prices gain likely to halt over demand uncertainty as US-China tension intensifies

Oil prices drifted lower at the last trading session of the week. The plunge is attributed to the surging U.S. dollar and expectations revealing more supply is likely to come back to the market as global energy demand has improved significantly.

What you must know: At the time of writing this report, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down by 0.6%, to trade at $63.17 a barrel, thereby giving up all of Thursday’s gains.

Brent crude futures dropped about 0.3%, to trade at $66.70 a barrel. The April contract expires on Friday.

READ: Oil prices tumble, oil traders jittery on OPEC+ meeting

Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi, in a note to Nairametrics, gave an indepth analysis on why crude oil prices are currently having a downturn.

“Stronger US dollar, especially against Asia EM and higher bond yields, lead to the selling of long-duration assets. And given the massive overweight of “long duration, infinite growth tech” at the index level, stocks are capitulating.

“And the domino effect is starting to hit commodities like oil triggered by a correction in the reflation trade due to higher US yields that are becoming a significant source of market volatility.

“Next week’s OPEC+ meeting has more potential to be damaging than a positive catalyst given the optimism now priced into oil and the likelihood the group takes steps that could prompt a round of profit-taking.”

READ: Oil Price: A dead cat bounce in the making?

What to expect: Oil pundits, however, anticipate the bearish trend might likely be short-lived, given evidence of an ongoing demand rebound and the likelihood that oil markets remain tight this year.

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