Oil prices moved higher yesterday amid reports that Saudi Arabia, Opec’s largest producer, cut the amount of crude it supplied last month.
ICE December Brent, the international oil marker, rose 1.9 per cent to $86.32 a barrel, while Nymex December West Texas Intermediate advanced 1.4 per cent to $81.74 a barrel.
洲际交易所(ICE) 12月交货的布伦特(Brent)原油价格上涨1.9%，至每桶86.32美元，纽约商业期货交易所(NYMEX) 12月交货的西德克萨斯中质原油(West Texas Intermediate)价格上涨1.4%，至每桶81.74美元。
The gains followed reports that the kingdom had supplied international and domestic markets with 9.36m barrels a day of crude last month, down from 9.68m in August.
Oil has dropped 25 per cent since reaching $115 a barrel in June, hit by concerns about slowing demand growth and rising supplies. The sell-off has intensified because of fears that Saudi Arabia has started a price war by refusing to cut production and lowering its official selling prices.
Paul Horsnell, analyst at Standard Chartered, said yesterday’s rise made sense only if investors believed the theory that Saudi Arabia was trying to drive prices down to take market share. “In that context, these comments could be seen as pushing against the view that Saudi Arabia has started a price war.”
渣打银行(Standard Chartered)分析师保罗•霍斯耐尔(Paul Horsnell)表示，只有在投资者相信沙特正试图压低价格以抢夺市场份额这一理论的情况下，昨日的油价上涨才说得通。“在这种情况下，这些言论可能被视为反驳沙特开打价格战的说法。”
Other market watchers said it was not clear that Saudi Arabia had unilaterally cut production to rebalance the market. “We do not share this interpretation and maintain our view that Saudi Arabia has not made a deliberate decision to cut,” said Amrita Sen at Energy Aspects.
其他市场观察人士表示，现在还不清楚，沙特阿拉伯是否为了恢复市场平衡而单方面减产。Energy Aspects的阿姆瑞塔•森(Amrita Sen)表示：“我们不这么认为，我们坚持我们的观点，即沙特阿拉伯并未有意做出减产决定。”
Several Opec members, including Venezuela and Libya, have called on the cartel to take action on prices. But it is not clear whether it will cut production when its meets in Vienna next month.
Ms Sen said if the cut had been planned, Saudi Arabia would have lowered production rather than just volumes supplied, because the excess oil would just be stockpiled. The reports also claimed the kingdom had pumped 9.7m b/d in September, up from 9.6m b/d in August.
“We believe the lower number reflects weaker domestic demand, stockpiling . . . and difficulties experienced in placing barrels in September,” said Ms Sen. The market was so “short”, any vaguely positive headline could push prices higher, she added.
News that industrial activity in the eurozone had grown faster than expected in October was seen as supportive for oil, as was a fresh reading of Chinese industrial activity. However, Capital Economics said the latter was not as positive as it had first appeared.