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Oil Market Snapshot – October 2019 Saudi Arabia's Quick Recovery Keeps Brent Flat

Brent has fallen back to August levels in October, trading between $58/bbl and $62/bbl. After Saudi Arabia achieved a swifter return to production than many expected, continued weakness in economic data has maintained downward pressure on oil prices. Our global demand growth forecast for 2019 is revised down to 970,000 b/d (-50,000 b/d m-o-m) on worsening outlooks for major economies from the IMF. Consumer confidence is also looking weaker in most major economies, as is global trade data and manufacturing PMIs. Our global supply growth forecast for 2019 is 110,000 b/d (+150,000 b/d on last), as the disruption in Saudi Arabia was less than anticipated but will still make an impact. We see the annual average price at $64.36/bbl in 2019 and $63.27/bbl in 2020 (-$2.71 and -$5.98 on previous, respectively), with 2020’s figure cut c. 8.6% but still c. $3/bbl above the EIA forecast. Though mindful of the risk of a global economic slowdown, we consider this view to be so widespread in the market despite the optimism of the major agencies that there is upside risk to our estimates. This is particularly true given the importance of the US-China trade war and the potential for a deal to be concluded as President Trump approaches his re-election bid....

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