The OPEC and the select group of 11 non-OPEC producers announced an agreement today to extend existing production cuts through the first quarter of 2018. The current agreement has not been as effective as was anticipated, while the group of producers continue to be committed to balancing the market and bringing global inventories back in line with the five-year average, noted TD Economics in a research report.
Under the new agreement, the quotas for output for participating member nations would continue to be unchanged from that in the first half of the year. Russia and Saudi Arabia had hinted at such a deal early last week, following concerns that the initial deal would not be sufficient to balance the market sent prices down to USD 45 per barrel.
It seems that markets were hoping for slightly more from today’s meeting. Oil prices dropped by about 4 percent today, and currently are at just under USD 50 per barrel. The overall success of this strategy ultimately depends on the response from producers not participating in the deal, especially in the U.S. shale industry that have thus far countered a good chunk of the cuts.
“While shale output remains the wild card going forward, evidence of falling global inventories should begin to emerge later this year, helping to lift prices toward the mid-US$50 per barrel range”, said TD Economics.