Oil prices decreased today, Tuesday, with the resumption of shipping traffic in the Suez Canal after days of suspension due to the stranding of a giant ship.
The focus of the markets has now shifted to the “OPEC +” meeting this week, where an extension of supply restrictions is expected to be discussed amid new closures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
By 06:51 GMT, Brent crude fell 15 cents to $ 64.83 a barrel, while US crude fell 12 cents to $ 61.44 a barrel.
Navigation resumed in the Suez Canal yesterday evening, Monday, after the floatation of the huge container vessel “Ever Giffen”, which blocked the waterway for nearly a week, leading to congestion of a large number of ships waiting to cross the shipping lane.
With the fears of the current supply shortage receding, the market’s attention shifted to a meeting next Thursday of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies in Vienna, in what is known as the “OPEC +” group.
“The decision led by Saudi Arabia to prevent an increase in production will lead to exceptional scarcity in the oil market in light of the withdrawal from stocks,” said Avtar Sandhu, director of commodities at Philip Futures in Singapore.
OPEC + discusses maintaining restrictions on production, which have withheld millions of barrels from the market daily, to support prices, a strategy that has largely succeeded in recent months.