© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The solar units behind the chimneys of the Whole Grandpuits oil refinery southeast of Paris

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil costs edged decrease on Monday, the primary day of 2021 buying and selling, forward of a gathering of OPEC and allied producers to debate output ranges for February with fears for first-half demand seeping into the market because the coronavirus pandemic lingers.

for March was at $51.76 a barrel, down 4 cents or 0.08%, by 0038 GMT whereas U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for February fell 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $48.43 a barrel.

Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary Normal of the Group of the Petroleum Exporting International locations (OPEC), mentioned on Sunday that whereas crude demand is anticipated to rise by 5.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to 95.9 million bpd this 12 months, the group sees loads of draw back demand dangers within the first half of 2021.

“We’re solely starting to emerge from a 12 months of deep funding cuts, big job losses and the worst demand destruction on file,” he mentioned.

Costs ended 2020 about 20% beneath 2019’s common, nonetheless recovering from the affect of worldwide financial lockdown measures imposed to battle COVID-19 that slashed gasoline demand, regardless that the world’s main producers agreed file output cuts via the 12 months.

OPEC and allied producers together with Russia, a grouping generally known as OPEC+, determined at a gathering final month to boost output by 500,000 barrels per day in January, anticipating a lift in demand, and agreed to fulfill each month to evaluate manufacturing.

Analysts from Vitality Elements and RBC Capital mentioned OPEC+ was more likely to preserve January manufacturing ranges in February.

“We predict the producer group will choose to forgo any additional manufacturing will increase for February with COVID-19 circumstances persevering with to climb and the slower-than-expected vaccine rollout,” RBC Capital’s Helima Croft mentioned.

In america, crude oil manufacturing stayed underneath stress from weak costs and tepid demand, down greater than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in October from earlier this 12 months, a authorities report confirmed on Jan. 1.

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