OPEC+ cuts branded a ‘fudge’ by analyst

OPEC headquarters in Vienna
OPEC headquarters in Vienna

Production cuts of 1.2 million barrels a day agreed by Opec and its allies fall short of what was needed to rebalance the market, an analyst has said.

Ashley Kelty, oil & gas research analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, acknowledged that the reduction was larger than many expected.

But Mr Kelty said the impact of the cuts on crude prices would depend on the baseline point against which the new quotas are set.

He said: “If the baseline is on current production levels, then the net impact for the Saudis is in reality negligible relative to what they were producing before prices slipped from $80 highs.

“Consequently, it is hard to say what the long term impact will be.

“Our initial snap judgement is that prices will stabilise in the $60-65 per barrel range, as the cuts are likely to be insufficient to stem the near term supply glut, given US output is continuing to rise, albeit at a slower pace due to capacity constraints.

“It feels like a bit of a fudge, and the absence of the final communique at this late stage suggests that a lot of horse trading has been underway to reach a situation that tries to appeal to all parties, whilst ending up with a situation that will appease no-one.”

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