A factor in crude oil markets that probably doesn’t receive the attention it deserves is the difference between what various players say they will do, and what they actually do.
A case in point is last week’s meeting of the OPEC+ group of exporters, in which they resolved to maintain their existing policy of monthly output increases despite the uncertainty over the current state of demand and supply.
OPEC+, which consists of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, agreed to stick to the plan of boosting output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) per month.
The steady-as-she-goes decision came despite some speculation ahead of the Dec. 2 meeting that the group would decide to postpone, or lower, the planned increase for January given uncertainty over the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus, as well as the plan by major importing nations to release oil from strategic reserves.
The commitment to keep increasing production amid the current uncertainty was a decision that could be spun as both bullish and bearish for oil prices.