By Yu Lun Tian, Ahmed Ghadar and Olesya Astakhova
BEIJING, Nov 25 (Reuters) – China, the world‘s biggest oil importer, has promised not to disclose whether it will release crude from its reserves as requested by Washington, while OPEC sources said the US Action has not created a productive group change course.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden’s administration announced plans to release millions of barrels of oil from its strategic reserves in coordination with major consuming countries such as China, India and Japan to try to cool prices.
The United States has made the largest commitment to the market for debt as well as reserve releases of 50 million barrels of pre-approved sales, but without China the action would have little effect.
There were no further announcements from Beijing on Thursday, when China said it was working on releasing its own reserves, confirming a Reuters report last week that China could meet its needs for crude. will issue
Biden said at a briefing on Tuesday that China “could do more.”
Rumors of coordinated action before the US announcement drove crude prices down, but international markets rose more than 3% on Tuesday after Washington confirmed it would use its strategic reserves and China‘s intentions to shore up markets. But there was a lack of clarity.
Markets are also eager to see OPEC’s next move, as Washington’s announcement sparked speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known collectively as OPEC+, may react.
However, three sources told Reuters that the group is not considering halting its deal to boost production to 400,000 barrels per month, a move considered too slow by some consuming countries.
Fuel demand fell early in the pandemic, but has resurfaced this year with crude prices rising, leading to widespread inflation.
Biden, who faces low approval ratings ahead of next year’s congressional elections, was disappointed after OPEC+ ignored his repeated requests to pump more oil. Retail petrol prices in the United States have risen by more than 60% in the past year, their fastest growth rate since 2000.
On Thursday, Brent crude was down about 0.5% at $ 81.55 per barrel.
OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia and other US allies in the Gulf, as well as Russia, will meet again on December 2 to discuss policy.
The group is monitoring whether oil markets are balanced, Iraqi Oil Minister Ehsan Abdul Jabbar said on Wednesday, adding that the group needs to study the latest data before making a supply decision. (Reporting by Yu Lun Tian in Beijing, Ahmed Ghadar and Noah Browning in London and Olesya Astakhova in Moscow; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner and Alexandra Alper in Washington and Arathi S Nair and Florence Tan in Singapore; Writing by David Gaffen; Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)