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Oil Prices Drop, March OPEC Meeting Feasibility in Doubt

Oil prices declined on Wednesday due to fears that the expected “Phase One” of trade deal between the U.S and China, the world’s biggest oil consumers, may not support demand, as the U.S. intends to preserve duties on Chinese goods until the next Phase.

Photo: Reuters

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary, said on Tuesday that duties on Chinese goods would persist until the next phase of the trade deal between Washington and Beijing is completed. The both sides are expected to ink an interim deal on Wednesday.

Brent crude oil futures with delivery in March decreased by 0.47 percent, to $64.19 per barrel at 0915 GMT, while WTI light crude futures with delivery in February lost 0.50 percent, to reach $57,94 per barrel.   

According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), US oil inventories grew by 1.1 million barrels to 431.4 million for the week, which ended on January 10, while analysts expected a drop of 474,000 barrels.

Key OPEC countries began discussion on rescheduling the next meeting, at which they plan to decide on the extension of the agreement, from March to June, according to news, citing an OPEC source.

The meeting, scheduled for March 5-6, may be rescheduled for June, according to the preliminary data.