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OPECplus Meeting Tomorrow: Oil producers unlikely to change output policy on April 3 after crude hits 2024-high


The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will conduct its joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting (JMMC) on Wednesday, April 3, led by oil producing majors Saudi Arabia and Russia, shortly after crude oil prices hit their highest this year. OPEC+ members will review the market and members' implementation of output cuts they have already agreed to extend.

Oil has largely been on a bull run this year, underpinned by tighter supply and attacks on Russian energy infrastructure by Ukraine and the war in Middle East. Brent crude reached $89 per barrel on Tuesday, up from $77 at the end of 2023. Analysts expect a straightforward meeting, supporting the earlier decision to extend output cuts. The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Vienna time.

What will OPEC+ decide tomorrow?
Mohammed Imran, Research Analyst at leading domestic brokerage ShareKhan Commodities by BNP Paribas told LiveMint in an exclusive interview last month that he experts Brent crude to average between $87-$92 per barrel for 2024 as the expected June rate cuts from US Fed will boost the growth sentiment.

On the policy stance by OPEC+ tomorrow, Imran said, ‘’We think OPEC+ will maintain the status quo as they have extended voluntary cuts till June 2024, and Brent prices have since then stabilised above $80, which has given a cushion for OPEC+ kingpin Saudi and Russia to keep the policy unchanged.''

OPEC has forecasted an improved global demand for crude oil in FY25. Some sign of improvement is also seen in China's economy. ‘’In the near term, escalating geopolitical tension and production cuts may increase the prices of crude oil but the higher interest rates may increase the demand concern which may keep the upside limited in crude oil prices for FY25,'' said Nirpendra Yadav, Senior Commodity Research Analyst at Swastika Investmart Ltd.

What did OPEC+ decide at its previous meeting?
OPEC+ members, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, last month agreed to extend voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to support the market. The cuts are voluntary and are not shared across all members of the group.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week that Russia has decided to focus on reducing oil output rather than exports in the second quarter in order to evenly spread production cuts with other OPEC+ member countries. When the voluntary curbs expire at the end of June, the total cuts by OPEC+ are set to decline to 3.66 million bpd as agreed in earlier steps starting in 2022. 

The OPEC+ panel usually meets every two months and can make changes or recommendations for the oil output policy that can then be discussed and ratified in a full ministerial meeting including all members.

OPEC+ is a group of 23 oil-exporting countries that meets regularly to decide how much crude oil to sell in the world market. At the core of this group are the 13 members of the main OPEC cartel, which are mainly West Asian and African countries such as Iran, Iraq, Nigeria and Libya, among others. 

OPEC nations produce around 30 percent of the world's crude oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer within the cartel, producing more than 10 million barrels a day. OPEC+ nations produce about 40 per cent of all the world's crude oil.

Source: Livemint 

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