A cut in combined production of at least 1 million barrels a day (b/d) will have to be agreed at OPEC’s meeting in Geneva on 25 March if further big price falls are to be avoided, analysts say.

The organisation’s quota for the six months to the end of March was 24.52 million b/d. Despite sticking to the aggregate, prices fell during the winter, hitting their lowest levels for five years.

Analysts say a failure to cut the combined quota for the spring and summer could lead to prices falling as low as $10 a barrel. Despite this warning, there is no clear evidence that a production-cutting agreement will be forthcoming. Nigeria and Qatar are to propose pro rata cuts of up to 10 per cent. Some leading OPEC countries have shown no inclination to cut production either on this scale or proportionately.