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US crude stockpiles apply pressure on oil prices

On Friday, in Asia trade crude oil prices dipped after US crude inventories grew to a fresh weekly high, thus powering the world’s ongoing oversupply.      

Sweet, light crude futures to be delivered in March, traded at $30.54, a $0.23 decline. In London April Brent crude futures sagged to $34.02 a barrel or - $0.26.   

According to the Energy Information Administration data, last week American crude stocks went up by 2.1 million barrels, approaching to a weekly record high, 504.1 million barrels. As for monthly data, it hasn’t been so impressive.  

Oil prices managed to gain ground earlier this week, when four key oil producers, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela offered a joint production freeze in order to support crude prices. Though the plan was officially approved by Iraq, however, Iran refused to join this initiative. Iran would like to crank up its output to pre-sanction levels of 4.2 million barrels a day, though it’s quite unclear whether this country is really capable to boost production to those levels.     

Taking into consideration that the agreement is quite contingent as for participation of other oil producing countries, the pact’s fate remains uncertain. 

 

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