Oil prices wrap up Q1 with strong gains as Russia cuts ease oversupply worries


Investing.com– Oil prices settled higher Thursday to wrap the first quarter with strong gains as bets on lower Russia output eased worries about a global supply surplus.    

At 14:30 ET (18:30 GMT), rose 1.6% to settle at $87.48 a barrel, while rose 2.2% to $83.17 a barrel taking its gains for Q1 to about 16%.

Tight supply see oil prices notch strong Q1 gains 

Prices were boosted chiefly by a tighter outlook for markets, as Russia, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept ongoing production curbs in place. Russia had earlier in March said it will deepen its ongoing production cuts, while fuel supplies in the country also shrank following a series of debilitating attacks by Ukraine on Russian fuel refineries.

Few signs of a deescalation in the Israel-Hamas war, which has raised geopolitical tensions in the oil-rich Middle East region, also underpinned oil prices, as did persistent supply disruptions stemming from Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea. 

OPEC meets next week

Investors will watch for cues from a meeting next week of the Joint Monitoring Ministerial Committee of producer group the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries amid supply concerns over ongoing geopolitical risks.

That said, the group  is unlikely to make any oil output policy changes until a full ministerial gathering in June.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, who lead the group known as OPEC+, extended their output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day until the end of June. 

“While expectations of the group recommending any change to its supply policy are not high, any signs of members not adhering to current production quotas will be seen as a bearish sign,” ANZ Research said in a note.

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to the article.)