‘Premature’ to confirm OPEC+ cuts: Saudi minister

A reduction in output depends on all of OPEC and its partners making a cut, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih says. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 December 2018
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‘Premature’ to confirm OPEC+ cuts: Saudi minister

  • The oil producers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Dec. 6 to discuss production policy for the next year
  • Donald Trump has been pushing Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to keep fuel prices low for Americans

LONDON: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has dismissed suggestions that OPEC and its partner producers such as Russia will cut output at the next meeting as “premature.”
The oil producers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Dec. 6 to discuss production policy for the next year.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, the minister said that talks between producers were needed to “hear about their views about supply, demand and projections of their own country’s production,” before deciding on the best course of action for the market.
“We just need to figure out what needs to be done and by how much,” he said while attending UN climate talks in Poland.
His comments follow earlier remarks made in Abu Dhabi last month when he said that Opec+ should think about cutting production by 1 million barrels a day.
On Tuesday, he clarified these comments, telling Bloomberg that while projections said that there would be an oversupply of 1 million barrels, the market would have to wait until the Vienna meeting to be certain about that figure.
Any reduction in output relied on all of OPEC and its partners contributing to a cut, Al-Falih said. Russia was “in principle” in favor of a reduction in output, he said.
There has been some global resistance to cuts in OPEC oil production, with US President Donald Trump pushing Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to keep fuel prices low for Americans.
Al-Falih told Bloomberg that the riots in France over hikes in the cost of diesel was a result of “governments unreasonably taxing energy,” rather than the underlying price of crude oil.
“We want a thriving global economy and that requires affordable energy,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia released a lot of oil in the last six months … and the reason we did that is to make sure that energy supplies are plentiful and affordable. Yet consumer countries go and impose tax after tax after tax and take up the slack we are releasing and that is not fair,” he said.
Saudi Arabia currently produces between 11 million and 11.2 million barrels of oil a day, the Saudi minister said.
The price of oil has tumbled from four-year highs of more than $86 a barrel in early October to trade at about $63 per barrel on Tuesday.
On Monday, Qatar — which is currently being boycotted by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states for alleged links to terrorism — said it would leave OPEC next year to focus on gas production instead. The Qataris have said they will attend the December OPEC meeting.


China bemoans US ‘bullying’ of Huawei

Updated 23 May 2019
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China bemoans US ‘bullying’ of Huawei

  • The trade spat between US and China escalated after President Donald Trump issued orders last week on grounds of national security
  • Trump’s move effectively bans US companies from supplying Huawei and affiliates with critical components

BEIJING: China’s foreign minister has slammed US moves against telecom giant Huawei as “economic bullying,” and warned that Beijing was ready to “fight to the very end” in its trade war with Washington.
The trade spat between the world’s top two economies escalated after President Donald Trump issued orders on grounds of national security last week that have prompted several foreign firms to distance themselves from Huawei.
“The US use of state power to arbitrarily exert pressure on a private Chinese company like Huawei is typical economic bullying,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday at a meeting in Kyrgyzstan of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security group led by Beijing and Moscow.
Trump’s move effectively bans US companies from supplying Huawei and affiliates with critical components over activities the US says are contrary its national security or foreign policy interests.
Japan’s Panasonic announced on Thursday that it was cutting back business with Huawei in light of the US ban. A day earlier, mobile carriers in Japan and Britain said they would postpone the release of Huawei smartphones.
“Some people in the United States do not want China to enjoy the legitimate right to develop, and seek to impede its development process,” Wang said, according to a foreign ministry statement issued late Wednesday.
“This extremely presumptuous and egocentric American approach is not able to gain the approval and support of the international community.”
The two countries have yet to set a date to recommence trade negotiations after they resumed their tariffs battle earlier this month, with Trump raising punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing hiking those on $60 billion in American products.
Trump has accused China of reneging on its commitments in the trade negotiations. Beijing has countered that any deal needs to be balanced.
“It is impossible for us to sign or recognize an agreement that is unequal,” Wang said.
“If the United States is willing to negotiate on an equal footing, then on the Chinese side, the door is wide open. But if the United States opts for a policy of maximum pressure, then China will take them on and fight to the end,” he said.