U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he “called up” OPEC and told the cartel that they have to bring gasoline prices down.
“The gasoline prices are coming down. I called up OPEC. I said, ’You’ve got to bring them down. You’ve got to bring them down’, and gasoline’s coming down,” CNBC quoted President Trump as telling reporters en route to an event in Indiana.
I wasn’t immediately clear what President Trump was referring to when he said that he had “called up” OPEC.
The U.S. president has often targeted OPEC on Twitter with direct calls on the producer group to “increase the flow of Oil” or to “take it easy” with the production cuts, because, President Trump says, “oil prices are too high.”
Earlier this week, when the U.S. announced that it was ending sanction waivers for all Iranian oil buyers when they expire early next month, President Trump tweeted, “Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil.”
“We have had extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, announcing the end of the waivers. Related: Why This Rally In Oil Won’t Last
Meanwhile, gasoline prices in the U.S. are on the rise. The national average as of April 26 is $2.883 per gallon of regular gasoline, up from yesterday’s average of $2.877, and $2.839 from a week earlier, according to AAA. A month ago, the national average was $2.648, and the year-ago average stood at $2.798.
Robust gas demand this spring and shrinking gasoline stocks are driving pump prices up, AAA said on Thursday.
“As a result, American motorists should expect increased pump prices as demand remains robust and stocks dwindle. Moreover, higher crude prices – due to OPEC and its partners 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement and tighter U.S enforcement of its crude export sanctions on Iran – will likely drive pump prices higher this summer,” according to AAA.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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