OPEC to increase production in July as Oil Prices Hit 2-Year High

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    Oil prices hit their highest level in more than two years as OPEC agreed to maintain its production cut plans while demand projections continue to improve.

    Oil prices rose by 1 percent early on Monday, driven by expectations that recovering demand with summer travel and reopening economies will easily accommodate the gradual increase in OPEC+ production.

    But oil prices rose even more sharply on Tuesday, with Brent topping $71 per barrel, the highest level in more than two and a half years. “The demand growth is pretty OK, the OPEC+ discipline is very good, inventories are going down,” Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of consultants FGE, said in a Bloomberg television interview. “If there is no Iranian shadow on the market, prices could hit $75-$80 by the middle of the third quarter.”

    OPEC reaffirms trajectory. OPEC officials met for a virtual meeting on Tuesday and reaffirmed its current plans to gradually increase production in July. The Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the OPEC+ group maintained at a meeting on Monday its outlook for global oil demand growth at around 6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.

    Bullish sentiment gathers again. Even with Brent at the $70 marker, some analysts see more room to run. “We see demand outstripping supply in the order of 650,000 barrels per day and 950,000 bpd in Q3 and Q4 respectively,” ANZ analysts said. OilPrice.com

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