Brent oil price to average $75 a barrel next year: Platts Survey

Brent Crude is expected to average $75.50 a barrel next year, according to an S&P Global Platts survey of 11 top banks and oil brokers, who see OPEC cutting oil production by at least 1 million bpd and oil demand growth still healthy despite signs of weakness.

The participants in the Platts survey, however, cut their forecasts for Brent Crude prices compared to early October. Back then, when oil prices hit four-year highs on fears of significant losses of Iranian supply, the banks had expected Brent to average $78.51 per barrel in 2019.

For 2018, Brent is expected to average $73.91, down from the October survey forecast of $74.40, and compared to average Brent Crude price of $73.26 so far this year.

On the supply side, the key reason for the banks to see Brent Crude prices recovering from the current $63 a barrel is the expectation that OPEC will announce a production cut at its meeting in early December – of 1 million bpd or even more – to support oil prices, prevent a new glut, and drive the price of oil back into the $70s.

HSBC and Societe Generale have recently said that they expect OPEC to announce at least 1 million bpd of cuts, while Barclays says that with the market widely expecting a 1-million-bpd cut, anything below that or any underwhelming decision would result in further price drops.

On the demand side, some of the Platts survey participants think that the fears of a slowdown in demand may be overstated. One such bank is Societe Generale, which expects global oil demand to be “healthy”, growing by 1.3 million bpd this year and 1.4 million bpd next year.

JP Morgan has slashed its Brent Crude forecast for 2019, due to expected surge in supply from North America in the second half of next year, Scott Darling, head of Asia-Pacific oil and gas at JP Morgan, told CNBC on Thursday. The bank now sees Brent averaging $73 next year, compared to the previous forecast of $83.50.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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