OPEC Cuts Crude Output
March 5th, 2020
OPEC looks to have agreed to cut output by an additional 1.5 million bpd for the second quarter of 2020. The meeting still has to take place and get the official announcement and Russia is still a wild card. It seems that they will go along with the plans, but we will have to wait and see to be sure. Most traders say that a worse case scenario would be an extension of cuts, if Russia refuses to join in.
Morgan Stanley cuts its second quarter 2020 Brent crude oil forecast to $55 per barrel and its WTI crude oil forecast to $50 per barrel on the expectation that China’s 2020 oil demand growth would be close to zero and that demand elsewhere may weaken because of the virus.
DOE inventory report called crude stocks up 785,000 barrels and Cushing crude oil stock were down1.97 million barrels. Gasoline stocks were down 4.3 million barrels and distillates stocks were down 4 million barrels. Overall this report was bullish, and the market did trade higher but with all the uncertainty around the virus still has the market uneasy about demand.
Goldman Sachs lowered its Brent price outlook, saying OPEC+ output cuts and interest rate reductions by central banks would not be enough to stem a large inventory build caused be declining demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. The bank said that Brent prices could fall to $45 per barrel in April form a previous estimate of $53, before gradually recovering to $60 per barrel by year-end. In its second downward revision in less than a month, Goldman Sachs lowered its 3rd and 4th quarter Brent prices forecast to $53 per barrel and $59 per barrel, respectively, from a previous estimate of $50 per barrel and $65 per barrel. The bank also lowered its 2020 demand forecast to show that consumption will contract by 150,000 bpd from a year ago, the lowest growth rate since 2008 financial crisis. It is down from a previous estimate of 550,000 bpd. It cut its US shale production forecast by 150,000 bpd and 250,000 bpd in the third quarter fourth quarter, respectively.