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Price of oil in OPEC countries falling

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ The price of oil in OPEC countries has continued to fall since the United States began its military campaign in Afghanistan, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The average price of oil fell to dlrs 19.75 per barrel on Monday, a drop of 34 cents from Friday, Abdelrahman Al Kheraidschi of the Vienna-based Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries told the Austria Press Agency.

Monday's price was only 10 cents higher than the cartel's two-year low of dlrs 19.65, reached Oct. 3. Monday was also the 11th consecutive day in which prices remained below dlrs 22 a barrel.

OPEC has a price band system that requires the group to reduce production by at least 500,000 barrels a day if the OPEC basket stays below dlrs 22 a barrel for 10 consecutive days. However, the 11-member organization on Tuesday had not yet cut output of crude oil in order to bring prices down.

OPEC's secretary-general, Ali Rodriguez, said Monday that the organization was not yet ready to cut production.

In a meeting last month, OPEC decided against production cuts, saying it did not want to aggravate a fragile global economy after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.
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