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Opec: the market’s new talking shop

The cartel won’t be cutting at June’s Vienna meeting. It will be trying to salvage some unity

RARELY at any other time in Opec’s history has its implicit mission – to prop up prices through collective supply restraint – been more necessary. Seldom has it been less united or more unwilling to cooperate. Igor Sechin sounded Opec’s death knell at the beginning of May, proclaiming that the group had “practically stopped existing as a united organisation”. Until recently Russia was willing to co-operate with the group as part of a coordinated production freeze. But the failure of the Doha meeting signaled that even an agreement to maintain output – at already record highs – was out of reach. The next Opec meeting, due to be held in Vienna on 2 June, isn’t likely to succeed where Doha f

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