The oil price was barely changed in absence of both major economic news and US and UK investors (due to holidays) on Monday. The front-month contract on Brent thus settled at 102.62 USD per barrel (USD/bbl) ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting, i.e. in sight of 100 USD/bbl level favored by Saudi Oil Minister Naimi as reasonable for both producers and consumers.
As regards possible outcomes of the meeting, we expect the OPEC to stick to its official production quota of 30 million barrels per day (mbpd) even though it faces increasing production in non-OPEC countries (mainly thanks to US tight oil) on the one hand and lower than previously expected growth in oil demand on the other. We also expect Saudi Arabia to keep its role of the “supplier of the last resort” in case of production disruptions even though discussions how OPEC would respond to prospective production cuts (which members should participate) could be held, especially between Saudi and Iraqi officials. Let us recall that Iraq has seen the largest increase in oil production among the OPEC members as its supplies rose by more than 0.4 mbpd Y/Y in the first quarter of this year and is now the second-largest OPEC oil producer.
Copper erases early losses and is trading barely changed at 7295 USD/t after LME reopens after yesterday’s holiday. Early in the morning, comments of China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang who said his country targets 7% annual GDP growth for the next decade may have weighed on the markets. Moreover, news that operations at the world’s second largest copper mine, Indonesian Grasberg, might be resumed soon (after a disaster killing 28 miners around on 14th May), may have added some downward pressure on copper prices.