Oil price rise risks OPEC+ cheaters returning to old ways
11 February 2021 | 3:14 pm
OPEC+ members, including Russia, have been diligently sticking to their production quotas amid the extraordinary shock unleashed by the pandemic. Some of them might now be tempted to throw compliance out of the window.
The ban from the world's largest exporter has rocked an already precarious edible oil market. The price of cooking oil has soared as war rages between sunflower oil producers Russia and Ukraine.
At least 80 people have died in an explosion at an illegal oil refinery in southeastern Nigeria, emergency officials say. The disaster highlights the country's problems with oil theft amid high levels of poverty.
Djeneba Belem's fried bean cake stall in Abidjan is a world away from the war raging in Ukraine. But her business is now at the mercy of an unexpected consequence: runaway palm oil prices. The conflict has helped propel prices for palm oil - ubiquitous in African dishes from Nigerian jollof rice to Ivorian sticky alloco plantains - to record highs that experts say will deepen a food-cost crisis and punish the poorest.
Thousands of miles from Ukraine's battlefields, millions of Africans are feeling the impact as the chaos on the global commodities markets hits goods like palm oil.
EU leaders are expected to present the proposed embargo later this week. Supporting the measure would be Germany's second turnaround in as many weeks with regards to Ukraine.
The oil embargo could be upheld for years, the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. Her Green ally Robert Habeck said complete independence from Russian oil was possible by late summer.
The European bloc is moving closer to banning Russian oil with Germany changing course to support the embargo. But many questions remain open.
As EU member states push for a Russian oil embargo, Germany's PCK Schwedt refinery is facing an uncertain future. It runs wholly on Russian imports, and many locals aren't so sure alternatives can be found in time.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Brussels are at odds again. Hungary refuses to support the planned oil embargo against Russia. But now even former allies such as Poland are turning their backs.
The 27 EU member states are deliberating a gradual ban on Russian oil imports. Some countries, such as Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus, are concerned about the repercussions of such a move on their economies.
Hungary's government is "holding European Union decision makers hostage" by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania's foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that "Europe is weaker" as a result, and that he is "still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions".
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