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OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – February 2019 Highlights

Von   /   13. Februar 2019

Oil Market Highlights


Crude Oil Price MovementsThe  OPEC  Reference  Basket  (ORB)  rebounded  in  January,  gaining  more  than  3%,  or  $1.80  month-on-month  (m-o-m),  to  average  $58.74/b.


Crude  oil  prices  improved  over  the  month,  buoyed  by  robust  market  fundamentals with signs of tightening crude supply as well as firm crude oil demand, particularly from Asia-Pacific. In January, ICE Brent was on average higher by $2.57, or 4.4%, m-o-m at $60.24/b, while NYMEX WTI  rose  m-o-m  by  $2.57,  or  5.2%,  to  average  $51.55/b.


The Brent  contango  structure  flattened  as  the  market  moved  toward  balance,  while  the WTI  structure  remained  in  significant  contango,  reflecting  US market fundamentals. The DME Oman forward curve remained in backwardation.


World Economy


The  global  economic  growth  forecast  was  revised  down  to  3.3%  for  2019  and  3.6%  in  2018.  In  the  OECD,  2019  US  growth  was  revised  lower  to  2.5%,  following  growth  of  2.9%  in  2018.  Euro-zone  growth  was  also revised down to 1.3% for 2019, after growth of 1.8% in 2018.


Japan’s growth forecast remained at 1.0% for 2019  and  stands at 0.8% in  2018.  In  the  non-OECD  countries,  China’s  growth  forecast  of  6.1%  in  2019 remains unchanged from the previous month, following slightly better than expected growth in 2018 of 6.6%. India’s growth forecast remained at 7.2% for 2019, after 7.5% in 2018. Growth in Brazil remains unchanged at a forecast 1.8% for 2019, following 1.1% in 2018. Russia’s 2019 GDP growth forecast was revised down slightly  to  1.6%,  the  same  growth  level  as  seen in  2018.


While  some  positive  signals  still support  global economic  growth  at  around  the current  forecast  level,  underlying  risks  continue,  considering  ongoing  trade  tensions, monetary policies and ongoing challenges in several emerging and developing economies.


World Oil Demand


In 2018, the estimate for world oil demand growth was revised lower by a slight 0.03 mb/d from last month’s report. This came as a result of slower than expected demand growth from OECD-Europe and Asia Pacific as  well  as  from  non-OECD  Other  Asia  and  the Middle  East.


Total  world  oil  demand  growth  in  2018 is estimated at 1.47 mb/d, for an average of 98.78 mb/d for the year. For 2019, oil demand growth is forecast at around 1.24 mb/d, slightly lower than the previous month’s assessment by 0.05 mb/d to reach an average of 100.00 mb/d.  The  downward  revision  is  mainly  an  outcome of  lower  economic  expectations  in  2019  for the OECD Americas and Europe, as well as Latin America and the Middle East.




World Oil Supply


Non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2018 was revised up by 0.11 mb/d from the previous month’s report, mainly due to adjustments for US, Canada, Malaysia, China and UK supply, and is now estimated at 2.72 mb/d, with total  supply  averaging  62.17 mb/d  for  the  year.  Key  growth  drivers  in  2018  were  the  US  with  2.24 mb/d,along  with  Canada,  Russia,  Kazakhstan,  Qatar,  Ghana  and  the  UK,  while  Mexico,  Norway  and  Vietnam  showed the  largest  declines.


The  non-OPEC  oil  supply  growth  forecast  for  2019  was  also  revised  up  by  0.08 mb/d to  2.18 mb/d,  mainly  due  to  a  revised  production  forecast  for  the  US  Gulf  of  Mexico.  Total  non-OPEC  supply  for  the  year  is  projected  to  average 64.34 mb/d.  The  US,  Brazil,  Russia,  the UK,  Australia,  Kazakhstan and Ghana are expected to be the main drivers, while Mexico, Canada, Norway, Indonesia and Vietnam are projected to see the largest declines. OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids are estimated to have grown  by  0.04 mb/d  in  2018 to  average  4.98 mb/d,  and  forecast  to  grow  by  0.09 mb/d in  2019  to  average  5.07 mb/d.


In January  2019,  OPEC  crude  oil production decreased  by  797 tb/d to  average  30.81 mb/d, according to secondary sources.Product Markets and Refining OperationsGlobal  product  markets  continued  to  lose  ground  in  January  for  the  second  consecutive  month.  In  the  US, soaring gasoline stocks, along with poor fuel oil performance affected by lower FCC margins, offset support from  strong  heating  oil  demand.





In  Europe,  product  markets  weakened  across  the  barrel  as  arbitrage  openings  into  the  region  pressured margins  and  outweighed  support  from  a  pick-up  in  diesel  and  fuel  oil  demand. In Asia, weakening naphtha and jet/kerosene markets dragged on margins, as a growing gasoline surplus reduced gasoline margins to a new multi-year low.

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