The price of Brent crude oil has stabilised at around $105/b

There has been very little change in oil prices since their sharp decline following the announcement of the use of US strategic reserves. The price of Brent 1st-nearby has for the moment stabilised in a fairly narrow range, between $104 and $106/b. US allies in the IEA have confirmed that they will support the US effort by releasing strategic reserves, in an amount that the US President estimated at 30-50mb last week.

Vitol warned that the price drop seemed excessive, reflecting neither the risk of a sharp decline in Russian oil on the market nor the possibility that Chinese demand might not fall so much as a result of the restrictive measures taken against the pandemic. It is true that the prompt timespread has fallen sharply back to around $1.5/b, i.e. pre-Russian invasion levels in Ukraine.

The Iranian authorities have made some rather surprising statements given what has happened in recent weeks: they believe that a deal is close on the nuclear issue. The Biden administration is not as confident.

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