Opec production maintained; price is ‘perfect’, but demand destruction highlighted

As expected, Opec has agreed to maintain production levels, although secretary general Abdullah el-Badri told reporters he wants to see compliance back at 75-80 per cent, rather than the levels of around 60 per cent seen recently.

The decision was apparently a consensus one this time. El-Badri is also reported as saying production rises for 2010 “are not on our radar at this time” and Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said current price levels of $70 to $80 were “perfect” (he made similar comments earlier this year – high enough to maintain investment; but not too high to harm demand, is the rationale).

The group also showed journalists a presentation by its economists which talked about demand destruction.

The economists said:

“The crisis appears to have induced a permanent loss in oil demand in [the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries] and [a] slower rate of growth in non-OECD, due to policy measures and changes in consumer behaviour.”

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