OPEC has deferred plans for a second increase in the group's daily production quota, because of the fall in prices in the past two weeks, sending crude oil prices rising for a second day. The earlier output increase by OPEC was on March 16 by 500,000 barrels to 27.5 million barrels, to help build up of global stockpiles and lower prices.
Crude oil for May delivery rose to US$54.46 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On March 17, oil for April delivery surged to US$57.60 a barrel, the highest for the contract. Since then prices have fallen 5.6% as OPEC mulled another quota increase as early as April.