Russia's Novak sees global oil deficit despite rising COVID-19 cases

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MOSCOW, May 19 (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday there was an oil deficit on the global market even though some countries were recording a growing number of COVID-19 cases.

"There definitely is a deficit on the market which helps to reduce an (oil stocks) excess left from last year, to gradually bring it to the level of a five-year average," Novak told reporters.

"The oil prices are stable ... meaning that the market is balanced with a slight excess of demand over supply."

Brent crude were 1.9% down on Wednesday to $67.42 a barrel hit by renewed demand concerns as coronavirus cases in Asia rise but the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expects a strong recovery in demand in 2021 due to growth in China and the United States. read more

OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed in April to gradually ease oil output cuts from May. Its next meeting is set for June 1.

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Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Katya Golubkova

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