Accordingly oil prices hovered just below 2019 highs early on Tuesday, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC. Meanwhile US sanctions against oil producers Iran and Venezuela are also boosting crude prices, although traders say the market looks capped by rising American output.
Furthermore US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $59.08 per barrel at 0152 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last settlement and close to the 2019 high of $59.23 reached the previous day. Brent crude oil futures were up 2 cents at $67.56 per barrel, within a dollar of this year's high of $68.14 reached late last week. In China, Shanghai crude futures, launched in March last year, bounced 4.5% from their last close to 469.2 yuan ($69.92) per barrel, also near 2019 highs of 475.7 yuan a barrel reached during a brief spike in February.
Moreover the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday scrapped its planned meeting in April, effectively extending supply cuts that have been in place since January until at least June, when the next meeting is scheduled. Apparently OPEC and a group of non-affiliated producers including Russia, known as OPEC+, started withholding supply to halt a sharp price drop in the second half of 2018, when markets came under pressure from surging output as well as an economic slowdown.