Oil prices drop amid ample supply

New York, March 16 (IANS) Oil prices dropped as market expected that global supply exceeded the demand.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery on Tuesday moved down 84 cents to settle at $36.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery decreased 79 cents to close at $38.74 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hopes faded that major crude producers would freeze output levels to ease a global glut as Iran reportedly said Monday that it intended to ramp its production level back up to the 4 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia and Russia announced in mid-February that they would halt production increases as long as other major producers followed suit.

A meeting proposed by the two countries to discuss the production freeze has been postponed to April from March 20.

In February, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ crude production decreased by 175,000 barrels to average 32.28 million barrels per day, the cartel said in a report released on Monday.

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