Iran oil minister says China's virus impacted oil demand

A general view of Abadan oil refinery in southwest Iran, is pictured from Iraqi side of Shatt al-Arab in Al-Faw south of Basra, Iraq September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Monday that the spread of China’s new coronavirus had hit oil demand and called for an effort to stabilize oil prices, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

The minister also said Iran would agree to an earlier OPEC meeting if the rest of the group’s members agreed to oil production cuts. OPEC and its allies, a group know as OPEC+, are considering meeting in February instead of March.

“The oil market is under pressure and prices have dropped to under $60 a barrel and efforts must be made to balance it,” Zanganeh said.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Edmund Blair