Ministers of the world's major oil-producing countries met on Monday (26 March) in Geneva to discuss a proposed further price rise in crude oil.
Ministers of the world's major oil-producing countries met on Monday (26 March) in Geneva to discuss a proposed further price rise in crude oil. Iran is seeking a twenty per cent increase in oil prices, and that proposal seemed -- at least in principle -- to be supported by most other representatives of the oil exporting countries.
SYNOPSIS: As the delegates arrived on Monday morning for the opening session of the special meeting of OPEC ministers, it seemed likely that an increase in crude oil prices was on the cards. Eleven out of the thirteen ministers appeared to favour a rise, which would come on top of the gradual price rise set for this year by OPEC last December. But several ministers stressed the need for a more moderate increase than the one proposed by Iran. They called for a moderate increase to offset inflation, but not destroy world economies.
Sheikh Zaki Yamani -- the Saudi Arabian oil minister -- told reporters that his country would resist pressures to increase the price of a standard barrel beyond the thirteen point eight four three U.S. dollars, officially due to take effect on April the first.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was a second country which did not immediately support a price increase. Its delegate, OPEC President Mana Al-Oteiba, has not so far stated his position publicly, but OPEC sources said they felt President Al-Oteiba would not stand in the way of a price rise.
Iran justified its demand for a further rise with the falling purchasing power of the dollar and higher import prices. The Iranian delegate, Finance Minister Ali Ardalan, blamed this on the structure of industrialised economies. He called for a new economic and monetary world order to solve the problems of both producers and consumers, urging the United States to make measures to stabilise the dollar.