Trump says OPEC 'monopoly' must get prices down

Trump says OPEC 'monopoly' must get prices down

Trump says OPEC 'monopoly' must get prices down

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, meet on Sunday in Algeria to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset the loss of Iranian barrels.

Oil prices have increased from around $50 per barrel last September, to more than $70 per barrel today, with a rebalancing of the supply and demand disparity in the market, as well as major weather and geopolitical events playing a part.

As the price of Brent crude teeters near US$80 a barrel, President Trump took to twitter in an effort to persuade OPEC to increase production and ease prices. "We will remember", he tweeted.

WTI prices were up Thursday morning on the news that USA crude oil inventories were down 2.1 million barrels last week, the fifth straight week of declines.

President Donald Trump on Thursday once again tweeted his belief that major oil producers in the Middle East were conspiring to keep oil prices high, and he seemed to threaten the withdrawal of military resources from the region if the OPEC cartel did not help to lower prices. The price of oil is up 7 percent in the last month and almost 18 percent for 2018.

Aside from the presidential tweets, pressure has been mounting on OPEC to increase production ahead of USA sanctions against Iran, which come into effect in November. Iran's oil production is likely to drop as US sanctions kick in beginning November.

This is a violation of the agreement forged in June, according to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who told reporters in Tehran this week that some members are "siding with the U.S." to carry out "anti-Iranian policies".

Trump has been consistent in his demands and belief that oil prices are too high.

Still, many traders and analysts expect Brent to move above $80 soon.

Trump is moving ahead with sanctions against Iran that are already curbing their exports ahead of formal reimposition in November. "The producers that count are producing at will" and Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are likely to boost output further, he said. "Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above", said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop, Reuters reported.

"As more evidence gathers that Iranian oil exports are heading sharply down, the more emboldened the oil market is likely to be to test, and breach this level".

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