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OPEC Oil Market Highlights October 2019

Von   /   10. Oktober 2019

Crude Oil Price Movements


The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) rose $2.74, or 4.6%, month-on-month (m-o-m) in September to settle at $62.36/b, supported by concerns about supply disruptions and geopolitical risks. In September, ICE Brent averaged $2.79, or 4.7%, m-o-m higher at $62.29/b, while NYMEX WTI rose m-o-m by $2.12, or 3.9%, to average $56.97/b. Year-to-date (y-t-d), ICE Brent was $7.98, or 11.0%, y-o-y lower at $64.75/b, while NYMEX WTI declined by $9.69, or 14.5%, y-o-y to $57.10/b. Brent and Dubai crude oil forward price structures were in steep backwardation in September, while the WTI backwardation curve flattened slightly in the front end. Hedge funds and other money managers turned slightly positive on the outlook for crude oil prices compared to a month earlier.


World Economy


The global economic growth forecast remains at 3.0% for 2019. All regions remain unchanged in terms of growth estimates for the year, with the exception of Russia, which was revised down by 0.1 pp to 1.0%, following low 1H19 growth. For 2020, the global GDP forecast was revised down to 3.0% from 3.1%. Among other issues, it seems increasingly likely that the slowing growth momentum in the US will carry over into 2020, while ongoing uncertainties surrounding the EU, including Brexit, will remain. Moreover, rising US tariffs on EU imports and ongoing US-China trade issues are dampening growth momentum. US growth was


revised down by 0.1 pp to 1.8% for 2020, while Euro-zone growth remains at 1.1% and Japan at 0.3%. China’s and India’s growth forecast for next year is also unchanged at 5.9%, and 6.7%, respectively. Similarly, Brazil’s 2020 growth forecast remains unchanged at 1.4%, while Russia remains at 1.2%.


World Oil Demand


In 2019, world oil demand growth was revised down marginally by 0.04 mb/d to 0.98 mb/d, reflecting the latest available data in OECD Americas and Asia Pacific which necessitated the downward adjustment. In 2020, world oil demand is forecast to grow by 1.08 mb/d, in line with last month’s projections. OECD countries are anticipated to add 0.07 mb/d to global oil requirements in 2020, while non-OECD countries are projected to be the largest contributor to world oil demand growth by adding an estimated 1.01 mb/d, both unchanged from the last month’s projections. As a result, total world oil demand is anticipated to average 99.8 mb/d in 2019 and 100.88 mb/d in 2020.

World Oil Supply


The non-OPEC oil supply growth forecast for 2019 was revised down by 0.16 mb/d from the previous assessment to a level of 1.82 mb/d. This is due to downward revisions mainly in the US, as well as in Norway and the UK, which outpaced upward revisions in Kazakhstan and China, among others. US oil supply growth has now been revised down to 1.67 mb/d y-o-y. The non-OPEC oil supply growth forecast for 2020 was revised down by 0.05 mb/d from last month’s assessment to 2.20 mb/d y-o-y due to downward revisions to Kazakhstan and Russia, which outpaced upward revisions, mainly to China. The 2020 non-OPEC supply forecast remains subject to many uncertainties including oil price levels, capital spending, infrastructure constraints, as well as drilling and completion activities, particularly in the US. OPEC NGLs were revised down by 0.02 mb/d and are now expected to grow by 0.05 mb/d to average 4.81 mb/d in 2019, while growth will slow to 0.03 mb/d in 2020, reaching 4.84 mb/d. In September, OPEC crude oil production decreased by 1,318 tb/d to average 28.49 mb/d, according to secondary sources.


Product Markets and Refining


Operations Globally, product markets saw mixed performances last month. In the US, product markets saw gains mainly supported by positive developments at the middle and bottom of the barrel, as refinery intake cuts from both scheduled maintenance and unplanned weather-related outages affected product prices, providing a lift in cracks. In Europe, the top of the barrel weakened, mainly due to lacklustre regional demand amid slower gasoline exports to the US. Asian product markets showed the strongest positive performance compared with the other main regions, benefiting from solid gains recorded across the barrel. Strong gasoline spot deliveries to India as well as lower naphtha availability in the region, which led to higher prices for the same product, were the main contributors to the upside momentum.

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