Tag Archives: Oil

OPEC Says Commodity Supercycle Waning, Little Upside

11 Jul

OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) joined a chorus of analysts who have been warning for several months that the era of high prices for commodities is ending.

opecThe commodity market’s “supercycle” of strong growth is waning, OPEC said on Wednesday, with commodity prices currently in transition mode to slower growth rates.

OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) joined a chorus of analysts who have been warning for several months that the era of high prices for commodities is ending.

The group cited a slowdown in emerging economies, in particular China, coupled with decelerating foreign investment in those markets, as an explanation.

“It seems that emerging economies will continue to grow at lower rates than in the past years. China is currently forecast to grow by 7.7 percent this year and next year, considerably lower than its average growth over the past decade,” OPEC said. “This should lead to somewhat lower relative demand changes in the future, and while a decline of commodity prices seems unlikely in general, it also points to slower expected price rises in the future.”

In addition, healthy inventories for the major commodities will also provide downward pressure on prices, OPEC said. In this month’s oil market report, it downgraded its forecast for world oil demand growth to 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), a cut of 12,000 bpd.

Agricultural commodities could however prove an exception to the OPEC’s bearish outlook. “While in general, commodity prices should be expected to trade at range-bound levels in the coming months, an exception might be the agricultural sector, where, so far, the lack of weather extremes could lead to a continued decline in prices amid ample supply,” OPEC said.

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Brent hovers near 10-week high, Fed meeting in focus

18 Jun

Brent crude futures were barely changed around USD 105, holding not far off their strongest level in 10 weeks, as investors remained cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting.

The Fed, whose two-day policy meeting starts on Tuesday, is under pressure to roll back some of the USD 85 billion in monthly bond purchases after advances in the US economy. Its three quantitative-easing schemes have buoyed prices of commodities.

At 0446 GMT, Brent was up 5 cents at USD 105.52 a barrel. It rose to 106.67 on Monday, the highest since April 4, on mounting tensions in the Middle East. US oil added 5 cents to USD 97.82 after hitting a nine-month high near USD 99 a barrel in the previous session.

“What I’m expecting is some indication of a slow, measured tapering of the bond-purchase programme by the Fed. It will cause some impact to markets at the start but I’m looking for minimal slippage at least for oil prices,” said Carl Larry, president of Houston-based Oil Outlooks and Opinions.

“In general any decision to taper would signal confidence in the ongoing recovery of the US economy, that is potentially an upside for markets depending on how investors take it.”

Global financial markets have been on edge since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the central bank would be looking to taper its stimulus if the economy showed signs of improvement.

The oil market is also keeping an eye on a standoff over the civil war in Syria as world leaders lined up to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the second day of a G8 summit.

Although Syria is not key to global oil supply, investors are worried the civil war there could affect other countries in the Middle East and plunge the whole region into conflict

Any run-up on geopolitical risk would soon bump into a fundamental situation of ample supply and uncertain demand.

Stung by recent victories for Assad’s forces and their support from Hezbollah guerrillas, the United States said last week it would step up military aid to the rebels, including automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

“The market has certainly built in a risk premium into prices, and this should keep it supported despite fundamentals suggesting that there is more than enough oil out there to buffer a disruption to any kind of supply from the region,” said Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions.

“But until we see some clear consensus between the likes of Russia and the US we shouldn’t expect to see an end in sight in Syria and that keeps the risk of the conflict spilling over and drawing in other regional entities much higher.”

US commercial crude oil stocks are expected to fall due to lower imports, according to a preliminary Reuters poll done on Monday.

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