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Oil set to hit $75 on output curbs, lower inventory

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on February 23, 2021
Goldman now expects global oil demand to reach 100 million bpd by late July 2021 versus its previous expectation of August 2021.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and UBS expect Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 predicted previously and to $75 in the third quarter from $65 earlier

Energy analysts at the world’s leading banks have raised their forecasts for Brent crude prices by $10 for the second and third quarters of 2021, citing lower expected inventories, higher marginal costs to restart upstream activity and speculative inflows.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and UBS expect Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 predicted previously and to $75 in the third quarter from $65 earlier.

Last week, UBS raised its Brent price forecast to $68 per barrel for the second half of this year while BofA Global Research lifted its forecast for Brent crude oil prices for this year citing tighter supplies due to the Texas freeze and Opec+ output curbs and unmatched global monetary stimulus.

"We believe this faster rebalancing during what was expected to be the dark days of winter will be followed by a widening deficit this spring as demand rebounds faster than supply, setting the stage for a tight physical market," Goldman said in a note.

Goldman now expects global oil demand to reach 100 million bpd by late July 2021 versus its previous expectation of August 2021.

BofA now expects Brent crude oil to average $60 per barrel in 2021, up from a previous estimate of $50.

BofA also forecasts West Texas Intermediate crude prices to average $57 a barrel this year.

Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 a barrel in the second quarter of the year, the bank’s analysts said in a note.

Brent crude was up 0.4 per cent at $65.51 a barrel by 1313 GMT, and US crude rose 0.5 per cent to $62.00 a barrel.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, helped by the likely easing of Covid-19 lockdowns globally, positive economic forecasts and lower output as US supplies were slow to return after the deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

“The big Texas freeze in the past week should reduce global inventories by an additional 50 million barrels, further supporting (oil) prices,” BofA said.

The bank also said Saudi Arabia’s additional, voluntary oil output cuts in February and March and the Opec+ holding production steady were also supportive.

Opec+’s supply deal that extends into the first quarter has removed an extra 180 million barrels from the market, creating more spare capacity, they said.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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