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Oil Market Snapshot – June 2017 Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride

With fear and loathing of the OPEC deal high in the market, we make the case that the deal has been a qualified success. Brent fell to c. $45/bbl in mid-June despite declining inventories, reflecting market expectations of a slower impact of OPEC production cuts, before recovering to c.$47/bbl. We thus lower our Brent forecasts for 2017 and 2018, respectively. Our global demand growth forecasts remain broadly unchanged for 2017 and 2018 driven by growth in India and China. We see global supply increasing more slowly in 2017 before accelerating in 2018 based on OPEC maintaining compliance levels through to the end of its deal in 1Q2018. However, further depressed prices may limit the 2018 outlook. US inventories remain at elevated levels, and slower growth in vehicle miles, wages and consumer expectations support our view that the driving season alone will not be enough to clear the market. The US GoM has a potentially bright future once investment capital is found,  but if not we expect output decline to start as soon as 2018. We consider the first six months of OPEC’s production agreement to have been broadly successful on its own terms, even as market imbalances persist. The promotion of Mohammed bin Salman to Crown Prince signifies his strengthened political position within Saudi Arabia, and his ‘Vision 2030’ reform programme....

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