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March 15, 2019

Oil prices stable as economic slowdown dents supply deficit

Global oil prices remained steady as economic growth concerns in large parts of Asia and Europe offset supply cuts from major oil producing nations.

Global oil prices remained steady as economic growth concerns in large parts of Asia and Europe offset supply cuts from major oil producing nations.

Brent crude oil futures traded at $67.21 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $58.58 a barrel, both nearly unchanged from its last close, reported Reuters.

According to a report by Reuters, production cuts led by oil cartel Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and ongoing US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran have led to a marginal deficit in oil supplies.

Further price rise was dampened due to concerns that economic slowdown gripping large parts of Asia and Europe could spill into North America.

“Production cuts led by OPEC and ongoing US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran have led to a marginal deficit in oil supplies.”

 

To date, oil demand across major countries has continued to increase.

According to official data, crude oil use in China increased to 12.68 million barrels per day (Mbpd) in the first two months of 2019, a 6.1% growth compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

US bank Goldman Sachs told Reuters that global crude oil demand growth was “nearly 2.0 million barrels per day, with strength visible in both emerging markets and developed economies”.

It added that the current situation will continue to support the oil prices and is expected to drive Brent crude futures ‘above $70 per barrel’.

Since the beginning of 2019, OPEC member nations along with other key petroleum producers such as Russia have reduced crude production by nearly 1.2 Mbpd to support prices.

The ministers of the participant countries are scheduled to meet next month to determine the future of production policy.

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