SINGAPORE — Oil prices fell about 1% on Monday as Iraq’s production rose and Iran said it would co-operate in producer talks to freeze output only if fellow exporters recognised its right to fully regain market share.International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $49.40 per barrel at 1.45am GMT, down 52c, or 1.0%, from their previous close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 58c, or 1.2%, at $47.06 a barrel.
Traders said the price falls were a result of climbing output from the Middle East, where oil exports from Iraq’s southern ports have averaged 3.205-million barrels a day in August, exceeding the average level seen in July, according to two officials from state-run South Oil Company. Exports in July averaged 3.202-million barrels a day.
Iran said late last week that it would co-operate in upcoming producer talks in September only if other exporters recognised Tehran’s right to regain market share lost during international sanctions that were lifted only in January.
Analysts said disagreements within oil cartel Opec, and especially its key members Saudi Arabia and Iran, meant few expected a significant effect on global output from the talks.
"The market is increasingly likely to discount the outcome of the event, given, even in the instance of a freeze being agreed, compliance will be an issue," Barclays said.
Reuters commodity market analyst Wang Tao said short-term technical indicators were also bearish, and that a drop to $48.52 a barrel was possible.
"Brent oil is expected to approach a support at $48.52 a barrel again, as its correction from the August 19 high of $51.22 has not completed," he said.
Despite this, the Barclays said that it expected "incoming oil market data (both demand and supply) as a source for price strength" the fourth quarter.