In a swift Opec+ meeting on 27 April, which was essentially a meeting to decide not to hold a meeting, delegates agreed to stick to the roadmap agreed on 1 April to gradually taper cuts from May (MEES, 2 April). Following the meeting, Opec said “the recovery is expected to pick up speed in the second half of the year. The Ministerial Meeting emphasized, however, that Covid-19 cases are rising in a number of countries, despite the ongoing vaccination campaigns, and that the resurgence could hamper the economic and oil demand recovery.”

Indeed, with cases in India skyrocketing and Japan imposing new restrictions, there have been indications of softening demand in Asia. This has also resulted in a narrowing of the front-month backwardation for key Middle Eastern benchmarks, and even a reappearance of contango at the front of the curve for DME Oman as the June contract expired on 30 April. (CONTINUED - 147 WORDS)