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Commodities

Explainer-What OPEC+ oil output cuts are currently in place?

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By Alex Lawler and Yousef Saba

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC+ oil producers are scheduled to meet on June 2 to decide their next output policy steps, including whether to extend voluntary production cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd), which expire in the first half of 2024.

These voluntary cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, come on top of earlier reductions of 3.66 million bpd that were announced in various steps since late 2022 and which are valid until the end of 2024.

Total pledged cuts therefore currently amount to 5.86 million bpd, equal to about 5.7% of daily world demand, according to Reuters calculations.

WHAT ARE THE MOST RECENT CUTS?

The latest 2.2 million bpd round of voluntary cuts was announced by the individual countries on Nov. 30 2023.

Initially in place for the first quarter of 2024, the countries in March extended them until the end of June and Russia slightly adjusted how its cut would be implemented.

Included in the 2.2 million bpd is an extension of existing Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts from 2023 of 1.3 million bpd, meaning the newest element of the cut is about 900,000 bpd.

WHAT WERE THE EARLIER CUTS?

Before November 2023, OPEC+ was making production cuts of about 5 million bpd, comprising 1.3 million bpd of Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts put in place earlier in 2023, and 3.66 million bpd agreed in previous steps.

Of the 3.66 million bpd, 2 million bpd was agreed by OPEC+ in late 2022 and several members agreed voluntary cuts of 1.66 million bpd in April 2023.

OPEC+ when it met in June 2023 extended the 3.66 million bpd of cuts until the end of 2024.

HOW DO THE OUTPUT CUTS AFFECT TARGETS?

The following table shows OPEC+ pledged cuts and production targets for the first half of 2024 in millions of barrels per day, based on information from OPEC, individual nations and Reuters calculations.

Totals are rounded.

Actual output

Country H1 2024 Implied H1 Productio (April 2024)*

voluntary 2024 n target

cuts pledged targets after H1

2024

0.91

Algeria 0.051 0.908 0.959

Congo

0.000 0.277 0.277 0.26

0.05

Equatorial Guinea 0.000 0.070 0.070

Gabon 0.21

0.000 0.169 0.169

Iraq 4.24

0.220 4.009 4.22

Kuwait 2.49

0.135 2.413 2.548

Nigeria 0.000 1.500 1.500 1.28

Saudi 9.03

Arabia 1.000 8.978 9.978

UAE 3.15

0.163 2.912 3.075

0.48

Azerbaijan 0.000 0.551 0.551

1.59

Kazakhstan 0.082 1.468 1.55

Mexico 1.6

0.000 1.753 1.753

Oman 0.76

0.042 0.759 0.801

9.3

Russia** 0.500 8.949 9.449

0 0.73

Bahrain*** 0.196 0.196

Brunei 0

0.083 0.083

0

Malaysia 0.401 0.401

South 0

Sudan 0.124 0.124

Sudan 0

0.064 0.064

Total 21.62

OPEC-9 1.569 21.236 22.796

Total 14.46

Non-OPEC 0.624 14.348 14.972

Total

OPEC+ 2.2 35.60 37.80 36.08

* International Energy Agency figures excluding OPEC members Iran, Libya and Venezuela which are exempt from making cuts

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the logo of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) outside their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2023. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

** Russia initially promised to deepen cuts to 500,000 bpd of oil and oil product exports in the first quarter 2024. In March, Russia said it would cut 471,000 bpd from production and exports in April – June. The table is calculated using the initial figure

*** Figure is total for Bahrain, Brunei, Malaysia, Sudan and South Sudan

Commodities

BofA: Gold could hit $3,000/oz over the next 12-18 months

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Bank of America analysts predict a potential surge in gold prices, with estimates reaching $3,000 per ounce within the next 12-18 months. However, they acknowledge current market flows don’t necessarily support this price point.

BofA explains that reaching $3,000 hinges on increased non-commercial demand. They believe a Federal Reserve rate cut could trigger this, leading to inflows into physically backed gold ETFs and higher trading volumes.

Central bank purchases are another key factor. “Ongoing central bank purchases are also important, and a push to reduce the share of USD in foreign exchange portfolios will likely prompt more central bank gold buying,” BofA says.

This shift is driven by gold’s status as a long-term value store, hedge against inflation, and effective portfolio diversifier.

BofA’s model considers various factors, including mine output, recycled gold, and jewelry demand. However, to estimate a balanced market price, they also need to factor in investment demand. Currently, non-commercial purchases support an average price of $2,200 per ounce year-to-date. A significant increase could push prices towards $3,000.

The report highlights a recent World Gold Council survey indicating central banks’ intention to purchase more gold. This aligns with the growing concerns around US Treasury market fragility, potentially prompting further diversification into gold by both central banks and private investors.

While a Treasury market breakdown isn’t BofA’s base case, they acknowledge it as a potential risk. “Under this scenario, gold may fall initially on broad liquidations but should then gain,” they conclude.

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Commodities

Oil edges higher as demand expectations offset dollar strength

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By Paul Carsten

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices firmed slightly on Monday as traders weighed support from expected summer demand and geopolitical tensions against a stronger dollar.

futures were up 22 cents, or 0.3%, at $85.46 a barrel by 1053 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $80.92. Both benchmarks gained about 3% last week for their second consecutive weekly gains.

“The chief underlying reason behind the price strength … is the growing confidence that global oil inventories will inevitably plunge during the summer in the northern hemisphere,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, referring to seasonal demand for oil products.

Geopolitical risks in the Middle East and a ramp-up in Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries are also underpinning oil prices.

EU countries on Monday agreed a new package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, including a ban on reloading Russian liquefied (LNG) in the EU for further shipment to third countries.

However, a strengthening U.S. currency has made dollar-denominated commodities less attractive for holders of other currencies.

“The U.S. dollar … appears to have broken higher following better U.S. PMI data on Friday night and political concerns ahead of the French election,” said IG analyst Tony Sycamore.

The , measuring performance against six major currencies, climbed on Friday and was up slightly on Monday after data showed U.S. business activity at a 26-month high in June.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the Phillips 66 Company's Los Angeles Refinery (foreground), which processes domestic & imported crude oil into gasoline, aviation and diesel fuels, and storage tanks for refined petroleum products at the Kinder Morgan Carson Terminal (background), at sunset in Carson, California, U.S., March 11, 2022. Picture taken March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

In Ecuador, state oil company Petroecuador has declared force majeure on deliveries of Napo heavy crude for export after the shutdown of a key pipeline and oil wells owing to heavy rain, sources said on Friday.

In the United States, the number of operating oil rigs fell by three to 485 last week, the lowest since January 2022, Baker Hughes said in a report on Friday.

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Commodities

Gold prices creep higher; strong dollar, inflation jitters weigh

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Investing.com– Gold prices rose slightly in Asian trade on Monday but remained within a tight trading range amid pressure from a stronger dollar, and as traders positioned for key U.S. inflation data this week. 

The yellow metal has hovered largely around the low $2,300 an ounce level for about two weeks, as uncertainty over U.S. interest rates kept traders averse to the yellow metal. 

rose 0.2% to $2,325.52 an ounce, while expiring in August rose 0.3% to $2,337.85 an ounce by 00:04 ET (04:04 GMT). 

Gold pressured by strong dollar, PCE data awaited 

Gold prices were pressured chiefly by strength in the , as the greenback hovered around its strongest levels since early-May. 

Strength in the dollar came as traders priced out expectations of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, especially after strong purchasing managers index data on Friday.

The reading pushed up fears that strength in the U.S. economy will give the Fed more headroom to keep rates high for longer.

Focus now turns largely to upcoming data, due on Friday. The reading is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, and is likely to factor into expectations for interest rate cuts. 

The PCE data is expected to show some cooling in inflation, but is expected to remain well above the Fed’s 2% annual target. 

The prospect of high for long interest rates bodes poorly for precious metals, given that it increases the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding assets. 

Other precious metals retreated on Monday after remaining largely rangebound in recent weeks. fell 0.3% to $1,005.10 an ounce, while fell 0.2% to $29.895 an ounce.

Copper prices muted amid dollar strength, China jitters 

Strength in the dollar also weighed on industrial metal prices, with copper also coming under pressure from fears of  a trade war between China and the European Union.

Benchmark on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.1% to $9,677.50 a tonne, while one-month steadied at $4.4205 a pound.

Sentiment towards China, the world’s biggest copper importer, was battered after the EU imposed tariffs on Chinese imports of electric vehicles. The move drew ire from Beijing, with Chinese officials raising the possibility of retaliatory tariffs and a potential trade war between the two economic giants.

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