Crunch meeting of oil alliance over cuts in output

Brent crude, the global benchmark, has lost about 10 per cent in the past two weeks but has mostly stayed above the $40 per barrel level.. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 September 2020

Crunch meeting of oil alliance over cuts in output

  • Projections for 2020 crude demand have been downgraded in the past couple of days

DUBAI: Energy ministers from OPEC+, the oil alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, are preparing for a crucial meeting on Thursday amid signs that the recovery in global oil markets is slowing down because of a resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Projections for 2020 crude demand have been downgraded in the past couple of days by two authoritative sources — the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) itself, and the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In addition to new COVID lockdowns, the IEA blamed teleworking and weak air travel for the downturn in crude demand in “even more fragile” markets.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, has lost about 10 per cent in the past two weeks but has mostly stayed above the $40 per barrel level.
According to OPEC sources, ministers are considering whether to take further proactive measures now on oil supply to head off a possible excess this autumn, or to stick with the regime of cuts, compliance and compensation that has brought oil supply closer to rebalance.
The price of crude has more than doubled since the market chaos of April before the current OPEC+ regime took effect.
Traders were spooked by figures this week that showed the UAE, one of the staunchest advocates of the compliance policy, missed the OPEC+ targets by a wide margin.
Abu Dhabi said the lapse was temporary because of increased domestic seasonal demand, and promised to compensate next month. Overall compliance with the cuts has been unprecedented.
Energy analyst Robin Mills, chief executive of Qamar Energy consultancy, said he believed OPEC+ would “hold the line” at the current level of cuts.


Apple to launch first online store in India next week

Updated 18 September 2020

Apple to launch first online store in India next week

  • The company at present uses third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in the country
  • India has become a key focus of tech giants over the last few years

NEW DELHI: Apple announced Friday that it will launch its first online store in India next week, as it seeks to increase sales in one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets.
The company at present uses third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet that the company “can’t wait to connect with our customers and expand support in India.”
The Sept. 23 launch comes ahead of India’s major Hindu festival season beginning next month.
With a nearly 1.4 billion people, including millions of new Internet users every month, India has become a key focus of tech giants over the last few years.
In August, three contract manufacturers for Apple iPhones and South Korea’s Samsung applied for large-scale electronics manufacturing rights in India under a $6.5 billion incentive scheme announced by the government.
Apple assembles some smartphones at Foxconn and Wistron’s plants in two southern Indian states.