OPEC announces production cuts

| October 20, 2006 | 0 Comments

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Friday to cut output to 26.3 million barrels of crude oil per day on November 1. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said that a further production cut of 0.5 million barrels per day was possible in December if prices haven’t risen by then. Some analysts, however, said that OPEC must actually carry out the cuts in order for them to be effective in raising prices, pointing out that this has not always been the case. Some implied further that the current cuts are too late to have the desired effect.

In any case, the announcement of the OPEC production cuts did not immediately have the desired effect. Brent crude for December deliver, while slightly higher on the week, was 79 cents lower to $60.07 per barrel at mid-afternoon in London. November contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down 74 cents in mid-morning New York Trade to $57.75 per barrel, virtually even for the week. With November contracts expiring at the end of the session, December WTI was also even for the week at $60.33 per barrel.

In the metals markets, gold was down $3 on the session but had climbed $6 over the week to $595.80/$596.80 at mid-afternoon in London. After adding 10 percent Monday to $11,000 per tonne, tin declined during the week back to its starting point of $9,950 per tonne. Three-month nickel ended the week at $32,000 per tonne, a gain of 6 percent on the week. Nickel is now up 140 percent on the year so far. Lead added 1 percent on the week to $1,509.5 per tonne. Copper was $15 lower on the session to $7,646 per tonne, but still gained $180 during the week.


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