LONDON  - Oil prices tumbled this week to four-year lows on expectations that OPEC will likely maintain its production ceiling at the cartel’s upcoming meeting, despite ample global supplies of crude.

Crude futures will keep sliding well into 2015, held down by weak demand and increased shale production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast on Friday, as Brent North Sea crude struck $76.76 a barrel—the lowest level since September 2010.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate hit also a four-year low—at $73.25 a barrel.

Global prices have collapsed by about one third in value since June and were weighed down further on Thursday after the United States said it had produced 9.063 million barrels of oil last week—the highest production since at least January 1983 when official records began.

“Rightly or wrongly, we are seeing price adjustments in anticipation of OPEC not doing anything about global oversupply, or not doing enough,” Ric Spooner, analyst at traders CMC Markets, told AFP.

Dealers are largely expecting the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to decide against reducing output when it meets later this month in Vienna, home to the cartel’s headquarters.

A production cut by OPEC would run against its kingpin Saudi Arabia’s recent price cuts for crude exports to the US market.

That move was seen by market observers as an effort to maintain market share as it faces competition from cheaper oil from US shale fields.

As pressure mounts on OPEC to slash output, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said that “talk of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding—deliberate or otherwise—and has no basis in reality”.

“We do not seek to politicise oil, nor do we collude against anybody. For us, it is a question of supply and demand. It is purely business,” he said on Wednesday.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January stood at $78.77 a barrel compared with $83.64 for the expired December contract one week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for December slumped to $74.92 a barrel from $78.99 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices were stable after recent heavy losses.

Gold consumption meanwhile fell slightly in the third quarter as sliding jewellery demand in China offset strong growth in India, sector data showed on Thursday.

Overall demand dropped by 2.0 percent in the three months ending September 30 to 929.3 tonnes compared with the third quarter in 2013, the World Gold Council said. “This quarter the market continued to find its feet after an exceptional 2013, with China catching its breath and buying in the build-up to Diwali driving Indian jewellery purchases,” said Marcus Grubb, managing director of investment strategy at the World Gold Council.

India’s jewellery demand surged 60 percent year-on-year to 183 tonnes, which was the second highest third-quarter on record for the country.

“While the increase is partly reflective of the weakness in Q3 in India last year when the govt introduced import curbs and raised import duties, it also demonstrates the resilience of the country’s appetite for gold jewellery,” the WGC said.

“Improved consumer confidence in both the domestic economy and the new government added to the positive sentiment, with strong levels of purchasing being seen in the build up to Diwali”—the popular Hindu ‘festival of lights’.

In China, jewellery demand slumped 39 percent year-on-year.

“China’s jewellery market continued to normalise following last year’s rapid expansion” amid sliding prices, the WGC said.

Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the council, added however that China remains “a very key pillar of global gold demand”.

Demand by investors for gold bars, coins and exchange-traded funds, grew 6.0 percent to 204 tonnes.

“We are on course for a very solid year of central bank demand,” Hewitt told AFP. “Our expectation is that it will end up somewhere between 400 and 500 tonnes. That’s a really good source of demand for the gold market.” The price of gold traded on the London Bullion Market slumped by 28 percent last year. It last week struck a four-year low, hit by persistent dollar strength. A strong dollar makes commodities priced in the unit more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand. By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold edged up to $1,169 an ounce from $1,154.50 a week earlier.

Silver fell to $15.35 an ounce from $15.42. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum slid to $1,178 an ounce from $1,198. Palladium dipped to $760 an ounce from $763.

BASE METALS: Base or industrial metal prices mostly retreated following poorly-received Chinese data.

“All base metals were on the back foot... as Chinese factory production rose only 7.7 percent in October, disappointing analysts,” said brokers Triland Metals in a client note.

Industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, expanded 7.7 percent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), down from 8.0 percent in September and below forecasts of 8.0 percent.

Other key indicators slowed also in October, signalling further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy China.

By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months decreased to $6,616.50 a tonne from $6,682 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminium fell to $2,016 a tonne from $2,069. Three-month lead edged up to $2,020 a tonne from $2,017.50. Three-month tin dropped to $19,830 a tonne from $20,076.

Three-month nickel dipped to $15,392 a tonne from $15,450. Three-month zinc retreated to $2,242.75 a tonne from $2,249.

COCOA: Prices slid on easing concerns that the Ebola epidemic could badly affect output in key producers Ivory Coast and Ghana. By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in March fell to £1,877 a tonne from £1,905 a week earlier. On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for March declined to $2,822 a tonne from $2,893 a week earlier.

SUGAR: Prices rebounded on expectations of a supply deficit.

By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in March rose to $420.40 from $413.20 a week earlier.

On ICE Futures US, the price of unrefined sugar for March grew to 15.99 US cents a pound from 15.69 US cents a week earlier.

COFFEE: Futures bounced back also on the prospect of an output deficit.

“For the first time, the International Coffee Organization has put its expectation of a global market deficit in 2014/15 into concrete figures,” said analysts at Commerzbank .

By Friday on ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in March stood at 195.80 US cents a pound compared with 183.65 cents for the December contract one week earlier.

On LIFFE, Robusta for January rallied to $2,083 a tonne from $2,010 a week earlier.

RUBBER: Kuala Lumpur rubber prices rose but Chinese demand worries capped gains.

The Malaysian Rubber Board’s benchmark SMR20 advanced to 155.20 US cents a kilo on Friday from 151.00 US cents the previous week.