U.S. President Donald Trump criticized OPEC for manipulating oil prices for a second time in as many months, calling the cartel out for oil prices that are ‘too high’.
Early on Wednesday, President Trump tweeted: “Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!”
This time the U.S. President used fewer words to reiterate his position that “OPEC is at it again”. In his first attack on the oil producing cartel on April 20, President Trump tweeted: “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”
At that time, WTI Crude prices were touching $70 a barrel.
In early trade on Wednesday, at 09:22a.m., WTI Crude was down 0.51 percent at $66.02, before the weekly EIA inventory report.
Between the end of April and early June, the market chatter concerning OPEC and allies and their much-talked-about cuts made a U-turn. From reports that Saudi Arabia would be happy to see oil prices at $80 and even $100 a barrel, the most recent speculation, comments, and various reports have started to suggest that Saudi Arabia and Russia are thinking of reversing some of the production cuts in order to offset supply disruptions from Venezuela and possibly from Iran, after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and announced new sanctions on Tehran that will kick in later this year.
Then there was a report that a day before President Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran deal, a senior official of the Trump Administration phoned Saudi Arabia to ask it to help keep oil prices stable should the U.S. decision on Iran disrupt oil supply, Reuters reported last week.
President Trump’s most recent OPEC-related tweet comes just a week ahead of the OPEC and partners’ meeting in Vienna, during which they will discuss reversing some of the cuts. The meeting is expected to be one of the most contentious summits in recent years, as Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq are against boosting production and are criticizing Saudi Arabia for not having briefed them prior to commenting that production may be raised.