Trump To OPEC: 'Reduce Pricing Now!'

"Please stop this method", OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said Thursday, Iranian news service Shana reported. Trump also has the option to open up the strategic supply spigot, but that will only be a short-term fix.

The clash over OPEC policy and the resumption of United States sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices.

U.S. light crude settled up 20 cents at US$74.14 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of US$72.73 a barrel. However, if we've learned anything from last Saturday's tweet by the President calling for the Saudi's to increase production by as much as 2 million barrels per day and the subsequent rally to a new multi-year high earlier this week, it's going to take more than talk at this time to break the market.

Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving up fuel prices.

OPEC together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation started to withhold output in 2017 to prop up prices. His latest was a reminder that the U.S. defends many OPEC members for "very little" money. "REDUCE PRICING NOW!" - he tweeted on Wednesday, as Americans celebrated the Fourth of July holiday. He said Sunday that OPEC should put another 2 million barrels on the market to make up for the coming shortfall in Iranian crude sales due to sanctions. "You impose sanctions on major producers, founders of OPEC, and yet you are asking them to reduce prices?! Since when did you start ordering OPEC!".

Trump also tweeted on the topic two weeks ago saying he hoped OPEC would increase production in an effort to keep prices down.

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In his bid to halt the flow of Iranian oil without raising prices, Trump has urged Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to increase their output.

This would already take it to record levels but Trump's suggestion of raising production to two million barrels per day would stretch Saudi Arabia to its absolute limit. Jimmy Carter struggled with high gas prices, which had doubled since the Iranian revolution.

Such deals, Ardebili added in his statement, are discrediting OPEC.

While Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America's oil sanctions on Iran and trade frictions with China are adding to uncertainties as the planned U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to start on Friday. "You are claiming you are defending them".

"Because it's driving season, you expect a lot of crude to go through refineries right now - so that's why we were looking for a draw", said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Investors had questions as "to whether Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could or would really be able to ramp production quickly enough", said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee US$151 billion at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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