Oil prices drop as traders await OPEC+ meeting

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NEW YORK, March 30 (Xinhua) — Oil prices moved lower on Tuesday as investors were cautious ahead of a key meeting by major oil producers.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery lost 1.01 U.S. dollars to settle at 60.55 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery decreased 84 cents to close at 64.14 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, are expected to meet on Thursday.

“OPEC+ will discuss whether part of the 8 million barrels per day of production that has been withheld – which accounts for more than 8 percent of global supply – should now been ‘released’ again after all given that the demand prospects have improved of late,” Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Tuesday.

“Actually this could already have been done a month ago because the market was in supply deficit and customers were requesting additional volumes,” he said, adding “the bottlenecks were further exacerbated by the blockage of the Suez Canal for several days.”

A massive container ship that had been stuck in the Suez Canal has been freed, but analysts cautioned that it is likely to take several days for the congestion in this key oil transport artery to ease. Enditem

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