Improving demand expectations raise oil prices in Asian transactions


Oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Monday, buoyed by a positive outlook for fuel demand growth next quarter, as investors look to this week’s OPEC+ meeting to see how producers will respond.

By 06:14 GMT, Brent crude futures for August delivery were up 50 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $69.22 a barrel, after setting the settlement price at a two-year high on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery recorded $66.87 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.8 percent.

Both contracts are heading towards achieving gains for the second month in a row, with analysts expecting oil demand to grow at rates that exceed supply despite the return of Iranian crude and condensate exports.

Iran has been in talks with world powers since April; The parties are working on steps from Tehran and Washington towards sanctions and nuclear activities in exchange for full compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“We expect demand to exceed supply in the range of 650,000 barrels per day and 950,000 barrels per day in the third and fourth quarters, respectively,” ANZ analysts said, adding that this includes Iran’s production increase of 500,000 barrels per day.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia will meet on Tuesday.

The group, known as OPEC+, is expected not to deviate from its plans to gradually ease supply cuts until July.


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