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OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report / Highlights August 2019

Von   /   19. August 2019

Crude oil price movements

The  OPEC  Reference  Basket  (ORB)  averaged higher in July,  up  by  $1.79,  or  2.8%,  m-o-m reaching $64.71/b,  supported  by  a  pick-up in  Asian  crude  demand.  Crude  oil  futures  prices  also rose  from  their  low  levels  registered  a  month  earlier  as  escalating  geopolitical  tensions  offset  bearish  sentiment  in  global  oil  demand. In July, ICE Brent was $1.18, or 1.9%, m-o-m higher, averaging $64.21/b, while NYMEX WTI rose m-o-m  by  $2.84,  or  5.2%,  averaging $57.55/b. Year-to-date  (y-t-d),  ICE  Brent  was  $5.85,  or  8.2%,  y-o-y lower  at  $65.87/b,  while  NYMEX  WTI  declined  by  $8.74,  or  13.2%,  to  $57.46/b.

The  backwardation  in  both  Brent  and  Dubai  price  structures  flattened  in  July  due  to  higher availability  in  the  Atlantic  Basin  and  softer  crude demand in the first half of the month. Meanwhile, the contango structure of WTI flattened somewhat on significant  declines  in  US  crude  oil  stocks.  Hedge  funds  and  other  money  managers  slightly raised  their  bullish positions on crude oil in July, with net long positions ending the month marginally higher compared to the low levels recorded in late June.

World Economy

The  global  GDP  growth  for  2019  is  now  forecast at  3.1%,  a slight  downward  revision from  the  previous  month’s report, while growth remains forecast at 3.2% for 2020. The US economic growth forecast for 2019 is revised down by 0.2 pp to 2.4%, after significant data revisions by the US statistical office. GDP growth for 2020  remains  at  2.0%.

The  Euro-zone’s  growth  estimate  remains  at  1.2%  for  2019 and  is  also forecast  at  1.2%  in  2020.  Japan’s  unchanged  low  growth  of  0.5%  in  2019  is  forecast  to  continue  at  the  same  level  in  2020. China’s 2019 growth forecast remains at 6.2% and is expected to slow down to 6.0% in 2020. India’s growth forecast remains unchanged at 6.8% for 2019, and is anticipated to pick up in 2020 to 7.0%. Brazil’s 2019 growth forecast is unchanged at 0.9%, and is projected to reach 1.7% in 2020. After low 1Q19 growth, Russia’s growth forecast for 2019 was revised down by 0.1 pp reaching 1.3%, and remains at 1.4% through2020.

Large  uncertainties  remain.  While  the  growth  forecast  currently  assumes  no  further  risks  until  they  actually materialise, and, in particular, that trade-related issues do not escalate further, the downside risk to world economic growth is predominant.

World Oil Demand

In 2019, oil demand is anticipated to grow by 1.10 mb/d year-on-year (y-o-y), a downward revision of about 0.04 mb/d from the  previous month’s  projection, mainly  due  to  weaker-than-expected  oil  demand  data  from  OECD Americas, Other Asia and the Middle East in 1H19. Total oil demand for the year is now anticipated to reach  99.92  mb/d.  For  2020,  world  oil  demand  is  expected to  grow  by  1.14  mb/d,  in  line  with  last  month’s  projection,  with  total  world  consumption  anticipated  to  average 101.05  mb/d.  This  forecast  is  subject  to  downside risks stemming from uncertainties with regard to global economic development.

The OECD region is  estimated  to  be  in  positive  territory  in  2020  as  OECD  Americas  is  projected  to  show  growth,  while OECD Europe and OECD Asia Pacific are projected to decline. However, non-OECD countries are forecast to  continue to account  for  most  of  the  growth  at  1.05  mb/d.  China  and  Other  Asia  are  anticipated  to lead demand growth both in the non-OECD region.

World Oil Supply

In 2019, non-OPEC oil supply is anticipated to grow by 1.97 mb/d y-o-y, a downward revision of 72 tb/d from the  previous  month’s  projection,  due  to  lower-than-expected  oil  production  in  the  US,  Brazil,  Thailand  and  Norway  in  1H19,  which  were  partially  offset  by  higher  production  in  Canada  in  2Q19.  US  liquids  output  in May  was  up  by  53  tb/d,  despite a  decline  in  crude  oil  production.  However,  US  oil  supply  growth  for  2019 was revised  down  to  1.87  mb/d,  on  lower  revised historical  production  data.

The  US,  Brazil,  China  and the UK  are  the  key  countries  driving y-o-y  growth  in  2019,  with  mainly  Mexico  and  Norway  showing  declines. For 2020,  non-OPEC  oil  supply  growth  was  also  revised  down  by  50  tb/d  from  the  last  month  assessment,  and  is  now  projected  to  grow  by  2.39  mb/d  y-o-y  for  an  average  66.78  mb/d,  mainly  due  to  a downward revision  in  the oil  supply  growth forecast for Brazil.

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