Oil was down Tuesday morning in Asia, with all eyes on Thursday’s Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, or OPEC+, meeting to discuss output.
Brent oil futures were down 0.63% to $62.88 by 9:55 PM ET (1:55 AM GMT). WTI Futures fell 1.30% to $59.85, slipping just below the $60 mark.
The biggest challenge for the cartel during the 14th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, taking place on Mar. 4th, will be deciding how many barrels to return to the market and the pace at which to return them. Current reductions stand at just over seven million barrels per day, (bpd), or 7% of global supply.
Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C). analysts predicted that OPEC+ will boost output around 500,000 bpd in April, and do not believe that top oil exporter and key OPEC member Saudi Arabia will continue its earlier, voluntary output cuts. The country urged a cautious approach ahead of the meeting, even amid signs of a tightening.
Investors also await U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.
The drop in the Asian session came as futures in New York fell for a third consecutive day, on track for the worst run of losses since December 2020. It also comes as the black liquid rallied during the first two months of 2021, boosted by deep supply cuts made by OPEC+, including the Saudi cuts. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally and an investor turn to commodities also pushed prices in New York to their highest close since 2019 as hopes for fuel demand recovery also increased.
However, COVID-19 remains a global threat, as the number of global cases rose for the first time in almost two months in the past week, the World Health Organization warned during its media briefing on Monday.