(Bloomberg) -- Iraq expects oil prices to be around $70 a barrel in the first quarter of next year, with the market kept in balance by steady supply increases from the OPEC+ cartel and demand continuing to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world economy is in recovery status,” Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said to reporters in Baghdad on Sunday. 

Still, he said it was too early to determine whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners -- a 23-nation grouping known as OPEC+ -- would stick to its plan for a crude-production increase of 400,000 barrels a day for November during its next meeting on Oct. 4.

OPEC+ ministers will “discuss the market situation” when they meet, he said.

Brent futures gained more than 3% last week to $75.34 a barrel amid signs of a tightening market. OPEC+ started unprecedented production cuts early last year as the pandemic spread and is easing them slowly.

Iraq will probably export between 3.3 and 3.4 million barrels of crude a day this month, including from the semi-autonomous northern region of Kurdistan, Jabbar said. The government is hoping prices stay above $65 a barrel once the pandemic subsides, he said.

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