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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Trump thanks Saudi Arabia for slump in oil prices

The President tweeted on Wednesday that the nearly 25 per cent decline in prices was a "tax cut" for the US and the world

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly tweeted against Opec, accusing the group of manipulating prices. AFP
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly tweeted against Opec, accusing the group of manipulating prices. AFP

US President Donald Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for the recent rout in oil prices, urging the world’s largest crude exporter to get prices even lower.

"Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” he tweeted on Wednesday.

President Trump’s comments follow a steep decline in oil prices, which saw the price of Brent fall to an eight-month low of $62.3 per barrel on Tuesday after breaching the $85 per barrel mark in October and rallying around three-year highs of $75 per barrel for much of the summer. The $54 figure used by the president refers to the West Texas Intermediate, the widely used North American crude benchmark.

Mr Trump's congratulatory remarks come amid a record-high influx of US shale, bolstered by the earlier rally in oil prices as well as the lack of significant effect of the administration’s sanctions against Iran, which came into force on November 5.

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Opec and its allies reversed earlier production curbs in May to boost output following pressure from Mr Trump, who wanted prices moderated ahead of US midterms and domestic driving season.

The exporters’ group’s joint ministerial monitoring committee however met earlier this month in Abu Dhabi to consider production cuts again to steady prices, fearing a repeat of the 2014 oil slump in which the price of Brent fell as low as $29 per barrel in early 2016.