U.S. President Donald Trump criticized high crude oil prices once again on Monday, and called for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to "relax" amid trimming their production levels.
"Oil prices getting too high. OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike - fragile!" Trump wrote on Twitter, shortly before causing a decline of around 2.5 percent in crude prices.
The 12-member cartel, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and Russia-led non-OPEC countries, agreed on Dec. 7 to lower their total oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2019 in order to help raise low oil prices.
While Trump urged the cartel to ease their production cut behavior, he also argued that the world economy is too "fragile" for higher crude oil prices.
Since the beginning of the year, oil prices gained more than 25 percent, and climbed to their highest level since mid-November on Friday.
While the cuts by OPEC and its allies have contributed to some of the price increase, the U.S.' sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have also played a significant role in oil prices climbing to a three-month high.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned energy company PDVSA on Jan. 29, and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iranian crude exports on Nov. 5 have intensified supply concerns on the global oil market and pushed prices higher.
In addition, the trade impasse between the U.S. and China, and weak global economic expectations for this year, has hurt global demand for oil.
Rising oil prices help American oil producers achieve higher production and profits, yet this is not the first time Trump has taken aim at OPEC to blame the cartel for high crude prices.
"Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Nov. 12 before the latest meeting between OPEC and its allies.
By Ovunc Kutlu