Oil Rallies on Saudi and Russian Supply Cuts for August

Cam White | July 3, 2023

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By Alex Lawler and Natalie Grover

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil rose on Monday after top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia announced supply cuts for August, overshadowing concern over a global economic slowdown and the potential for further increases to U.S. interest rates.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would extend its voluntary cut of one million barrels per day (bpd) for another month to include August, the state news agency said.

Russia, seeking to nudge up global oil prices in concert with Saudi Arabia, will reduce its oil exports by 500,000 bpd in August, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, further tightening global supplies.

The cuts amount to 1.5% of global supply and bring the total pledged by OPEC+ oil prucers to 5.16 million bpd.

Both Riyadh and Moscow have been trying to prop up prices. Brent has dropped from $113 per barrel a year ago, sent lower by concerns of an economic slowdown and ample supplies from major producers.

Brent crude futures were up 0.6%, or 43 cents at $75.84 a barrel by 1119 GMT after gaining 0.8% on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7%, or 48 cents to $71.12, having gained 1.1% in the previous session.

“Investors are turning upbeat as the second half of the year kicks off; they expect tighter oil balance and buoyant equities also suggest that recession will be avoided, albeit probably narrowly,” said PVM analyst Tamas Varga.

Prices had fallen earlier in the session after business surveys showed global factory activity slumped in June, as sluggish demand in China and in Europe clouded the outlook for exporters.

Fears of a further economic slowdown denting fuel demand had grown on Friday as U.S. inflation continued to outpace the central bank’s 2% target and stoked expectations it would raise interest rates again.

Higher interest rates could strengthen the dollar, making commodities such as oil more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

(Reporting by Alex Lawler and Natalie Grover in LondonAdditional reporting by Florence Tan and Emily Chow in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman)