Trump declares oil prices too high, blames OPEC

Trump declares oil prices too high, blames OPEC

Meanwhile, OPEC left its outlook for global oil demand unchanged at 98.85 million barrels per day, up 1.65 million barrels a day from past year. Meanwhile, U.S. crude production rose to 10.9 million barrels a day, topping 10 million a day every week since early February.

Gulf producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are the main OPEC members holding sufficient unused oil production capacity to boost output quickly to offset a shortage.

India and China are discussing ways to boost imports of U.S. crude to Asia, a move aimed at reducing their dependence on cargoes from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to an Indian government official.

Saudi Arabia has enjoyed diplomatic ties with the U.S. for decades, and may be facing strong pressure to temper oil prices as President Donald Trump targets Iran - the kingdom's political rival - with sanctions.

Oil traders will be waiting to see what the world's most powerful oil producer Saudi Arabia - likened to "Superman" by the respected oil market expert Helima Croft - says and does at the forthcoming meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers on June 22.

"The timing of the meeting comes at a crucial time when global crude oil prices are at the highest since the peak of 2014", the statement added.

Oil supply concerns have also weighed on the market.

Oil prices have risen by around 60 percent over the a year ago after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, started withholding output in 2017 to reduce excess supply.

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The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices.

For the last month, the oil price has successively marked lower intraday highs and lows, indicating that traders and investors are not quite as confident in the outlook for the supply/demand balance, especially given the steep rise in USA crude production and the splintering within OPEC.

As two Asian giants that accounted for 17 per cent of global oil consumption a year ago, India and China held formal talks in Beijing earlier this week on forming an oil buyers' club.

The oil supply deal is set to continue through the end of 2018, but plans for its continuation were unclear for next year.

Arab oil ministers who met in Kuwait earlier this month agreed that if there is a decline in prices toward the $60s, then OPEC would keep the deal in place until its next meeting in November, two sources familiar with the matter said.

India's crude imports were 4.57 million bpd in the January-May period, up 272,000 bpd from the same period a year ago, according to vessel and port data and industry sources.

"Prices are unlikely to increase as sharply as they did from mid-2017 onwards and thus the dampening effect on demand will be reduced", the Paris-based organization said in its latest monthly report published Wednesday.

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