Crude prices edged higher on Tuesday as investors await the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to decide on easing of production curbs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Global benchmark Brent was up more than 1% to $66.31 a barrel as of 14:04 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for June delivery rose almost 1.30% to $62.71 per barrel.
OPEC+ officials are meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to stick with a timetable that would see producers ease output cuts beginning next month.
The group is planning to cut production by 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May, another 350,000 bpd in June and further 400,000 bpd or so in July. Analysts mostly expect that easing of the production restrictions will proceed as planned.
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However, some experts say there is risk that the easing could be put on hold due to concerns over falling demand from countries such as India because of the surge in Covid-19 infections.
“It remains to be seen whether this increase may prove premature given that the situation is deteriorating just now in the leading oil importing countries such as India, Japan and Turkey,” commodity analyst at Commerzbank, Eugen Weinberg, was quoted as saying by Market Watch. Oil production in Libya, which recently dropped by as much as 300,000 barrels a day, is also likely to recover quickly, Weinberg added.
The OPEC+ technical committee had forecast an increase in global oil demand during its previous meeting in March.
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