Sunday, December 05, 2004

Real news: oil prices fall

BBC NEWS | Business | Price drop prompts oil quota call
Opec officially likes the average price of a "basket" of its oil products to stay between $22 and $28 a barrel.

... The recent gains in oil prices - the record for US light crude was $55.67 in October - have left that far behind.

Opec president Purnomo Yusgiantoro suggested on Friday that a more realistic band would be $28-32, while some members have advocated an even higher range.

Sheikh Ahmed, for instance, suggests $32-35 - barely below the basket price on Thursday of $35.42, which was 10% down from the previous day.

Sounds like the "official" target price was more a matter of necessity than of true preference. Shocked we are.

Iraq is leading the call for higher prices -- that's a good sign of independence.

This is real news, rather than the usual speculation. If oil prices are falling, is this a vote of confidence in the future of Iraq? That seems the only near term event that could make a real difference -- other than global warming reducing winter demand.

It's significant if people risking real money think Iraq will recover in the near term.

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