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Oil falls back below US$40 as Iran dashes hopes for quick deal on output

Iran's oil exports are due to reach 2 million bpd in the Iranian month that ends on March 19, up from 1.75 million in the previous month, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday.

LONDON – Oil fell on Monday after Iran dashed about a coordinated production freeze any time soon, returning bearish sentiment to the market over a supply glut which has sent prices crashing.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures fell back below US$40 a barrel, trading at US$39.70 at 1128 GMT, down 69 cents US or 1.7 per cent on Friday’s close. Brent hit a 12-year low of US$27.10 in January.

U.S. crude was down 82 cents US at US$37.68 a barrel.

“Oil is down because Iran said they would only join the output freeze group once they reached production of 4 million barrels each day (bpd),” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Iran’s oil exports are due to reach 2 million bpd within the Iranian month that ends on March 19, up from 1.75 million in the previous month, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday.

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