OPEC crude price at new record high

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesVienna - The price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) peaked at 103.74 dollars on Thursday, OPEC said Friday.

Setting a new record high, one barrel (159 litres) of OPEC- produced crude stood at 103.74 dollars on Thursday, up 1.36 dollars from the previous day and 86 cents up from its previous all-time high on March 14.

The price hike comes despite bearish remarks from International Energy Agency (IEA) officials who expected demand to soften, which would translate into lower prices, analysts said.

IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said producers should keep their output steady and the inventories from consumer countries should then rise gradually.

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that enough crude was on the market. The leading OPEC member's Energy Minister Ali al-Naimi said he saw no need for boosting production as there were not enough buyers.

He added that his country was planning to increase production capacities to 12.5 million barrels per day.

OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 important brands produced by its member states. The Vienna-based cartel is responsible for about 40 per cent of the global crude output.

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