This Morning in Metals: OPEC meets as oil prices retreat

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This morning in metals news: OPEC held its 23rd ministerial meeting today amid falling oil prices; meanwhile, the United States International Trade Commission issued a ruling on import relief for the domestic crystalline silicon photovoltaic cell sector; and, lastly, the trade ministers of the U.S., Japan and the E.U. convened this week.

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OPEC meets as oil prices retreat

crude oil

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Rising oil prices have been yet another strain on consumers, whether commercial users or everyday motorists at the pump. Oil prices are also a key factor in MetalMiner’s commodity trends analysis.

In the U.S., pre-Thanksgiving gasoline prices reached their highest level this year since 2012.

However, oil prices this past week have lost ground quickly. The WTI crude price, for example, closed Wednesday at $65.57 per barrel, down $12.82 per barrel from the previous week, the Energy Information Administration reported.

OPEC, meanwhile, convened via videoconference today for its 23rd ministerial meeting, during which it agreed to maintain previously agreed output schedules. The group agreed to “reconfirm the production adjustment plan and the monthly production adjustment mechanism approved at the 19th ONOMM and the decision to adjust upward the monthly overall production by 0.4 mb/d for the month of January 2022, as per the attached schedule.”

USITC votes on import relief for PV cell makers

United States International Trade Commission (USITC) voted to keep import relief measures in place for domestic producers of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells.

“The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that import relief provided beginning in 2018 to the U.S. industry producing crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, continues to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury to the U.S. industry, and that there is evidence that the domestic industry is making a positive adjustment to import competition,” the USITC said.

The USITC said it would forward its determination to President Joe Biden by Dec. 8, upon which the president will decide whether to maintain the import relief.

US, EU, Japan trade ministers meet

In trade news, the U.S., E.U. and Japan released a joint statement outlining progress made during a trilateral session this week.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis, met virtually earlier this week.

The parties agreed to maintain their focus on identifying “problems due to non-market policies.” They also agreed to work together to identify “gaps in existing enforcement tools.”

“The Ministers highlighted the importance of WTO reform in an effort to build a free and fair rules-based multilateral trading system that benefits all its members and helps secure shared prosperity for all and reaffirmed their shared commitment to a successful 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, to be held in due course,” the joint statement reads.

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