Commodities

Oil prices likely to be under check in 2020

Bloomberg Houston | Updated on December 24, 2019 Published on December 24, 2019

According to analysts, OPEC+ production cuts are offset by higher output from other countries and a mixed outlook for demand.

Oil prices are likely to remain in check during 2020 as OPEC+ production cuts are offset by higher output from other countries and a mixed outlook for demand, according to analysts.

Analysts see prices climbing higher in the middle of the year as stronger emerging-market demand and the OPEC+ cuts trim global inventories. Saudi Arabia surprised the market in early December with a deeper supply cut, which, along with signs of a thaw in the U.S.-China trade conflict that may boost demand, lead some prominent analysts to revise their forecasts higher.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its estimate for Brent crude to $63 a barrel from $60, according to a note from analysts including Damien Courvalin and Jeff Currie. This points to a tighter inventory path than we previously expected, especially through first-half of 2020.

West Texas Intermediate will average $58.50 a barrel in 2020, according to the median of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg since the OPEC+ meeting in early December. That compares to the current level of around $60 and the average so far in 2019 of $56.95. Brent is forecast to average $64.25 a barrel.

The forward curve is in backwardation, with spot prices for WTI about $4 a barrel and Brent about $5.25 a barrel higher than December 2020 contracts. That premium for near-term delivery comes as producers sell forward contracts to hedge their output for the next couple of years and as inventories are seen as likely to decline.

Published on December 24, 2019
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