OPEC+ oil-producing countries failed to produce a joint output reduction target on Thursday but did agree to voluntary curbs on production of nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of 2024.
Oil prices fell after rising by more than 1% earlier in the session after OPEC+ announced the voluntary output cuts.
Here are analysts’ views on the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting (in alphabetical order):
HELIMA CROFT, RBC:
“Without a press conference to parse the deal details, it is a rather opaque ending as we await more details of who is in or out for additional production adjustments. That said, Brazil’s entry into the group could prove to be the big deliverable if it does indeed lead to one of the biggest sources of new supply coming under collective management in the coming years.”
JAMES DAVIS, FGE:
“While it would appear that this is the plan from OPEC+, a lack of clarity of what individual country production targets will be for Q1 has left the market disappointed. We are being told what individual countries will cut, but we are not getting a clear message for what the base line for these cuts is, so we don’t know for certain what the actual production level plans are.
From what we’ve seen so far, this looks like a paper cut of around 600-700,000 barrels per day (bpd) vs Q4 2023 planned levels, assuming Iraq will also contribute. It could at best be an actual cut of around 500,000 bpd compared to Q4. This might be just enough to keep the market balanced in Q1, but it will be close.”
CHRISTYAN MALEK, J.P. MORGAN:
“The (oil price) market reaction implies disbelief in the full efficacy of the cuts. However, setting a new framework for each member to deliver on its cut reflects the degree of trust and cohesion among the members; case in point, the fact Brazil is joining is testament to the strength in numbers for OPEC+.”
CALLUM MACPHERSON, INVESTEC:
“The press release has no mention of cuts and no allocation table. It does say Brazil will be joining OPEC+, but like Mexico, it will not have an output limit and will not take part in cuts, making the inclusion seem rather superfluous. So this does not help. For now the outcome does not live up to the expectation that had raised in recent days.”
TAMAS VARGA, PVM:
The supply cuts are not bearish, but perhaps not as deep as hoped for, Varga said.
He added that the market remains pessimistic about demand next year, highlighting expectations of high interest rates persisting in major economies.
A sharp fall in crude prices that followed the first reports of what had been agreed on Thursday were a “head-scratcher”, Varga said, adding: “It just goes to show the view on the demand side.”
The question is how these cuts will play out in practice, as compliance will likely be an issue, he said.
(Reporting by Robert Harvey and Natalie Grover in London; editing by Jason Neely)