Oil & Energy

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The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for April released Wednesday provides OPEC's outlook for crude oil market developments for the coming year with key developments impacting oil market trends in world oil demand and supply.

MOMR Oil market highlights
- OPEC oil output -153kbpd to 31.928mbpd
- OPEC Raises 2017 world oil demand growth forecast to 1.27mbps vs 1.26m prior
- Cuts forecast for OPEC 2017 demand by 130kbpd to 32.22mbpd on higher non-OPEC supply
- OECD commercial stocks stood at 64.2 days, some 4.6 days higher than the latest five-year average.
- Saudi Arabia say they cut output to 9.90mbps vs 10.011m in Feb
- OPEC says OECD oil inventories fell to 268m in Feb, still above 5 year average

Oil market highlights

Crude Oil Price Movements
The OPEC Reference Basket averaged $50.32/b in March, representing a decline of 5.7% from the previous month. Crude futures also declined on concerns about growing oil output and high crude inventories in the US. ICE Brent ended 6.2% lower at $52.54/b, while NYMEX WTI decreased 7.1% to $49.67/b. The BrentWTI spread widened to $2.86/b, supporting US crude oil exports. Hedge funds liquidated their large net long positions in crude, contributing to the sharp drop in oil prices.

World Economy
The momentum in global economic growth has been improving resulting in an upward revision in the 2017 forecast to now stand at 3.3% from 3.2% previously, while growth for 2016 remains at 3.0%. OECD growth in 2017 remains at 1.9%, with the US and Euro-zone seeing no revisions. Japan’s 2017 growth forecast was revised up to 1.2% from 1.1% previously. China’s 2017 growth was also revised higher to 6.3% from 6.2%, while India’s forecast remains at 7.0%. Russia’s 2017 growth was revised up to 1.2% from 1.0%, while the forecast for Brazil is unchanged at 0.5%.

World Oil Demand
World oil demand growth in 2016 was kept broadly unchanged at 1.38 mb/d, averaging 95.05 mb/d. For 2017, oil demand growth is anticipated to be around 1.27 mb/d, following an upward revision of 10 mb/d to average 96.32 mb/d. The ‘Other Asia’ group – which includes India – is anticipated to lead oil demand growth in 2017, followed by China and OECD Americas. OECD Asia Pacific is the only region anticipated to see a decline in oil demand in 2017.

World Oil Supply
Non-OPEC oil supply is estimated to have averaged 57.32 mb/d in 2016, representing a contraction of 0.69 mb/d y-o-y following a minor downward revision of 30 tb/d. In 2017, non-OPEC oil supply is projected to grow by 0.58 mb/d, following an upward revision of 176 tb/d due to higher than expected growth in the US and lesser contractions in Colombia and China, to average 57.89 mb/d. The US supply growth forecast was revised up by 0.20 mb/d to stand at 0.54 mb/d. OPEC NGLs and non-conventional oil production is forecast to grow by 0.13 mb/d in 2017, following growth of 0.14 mb/d in 2016. In March, OPEC production decreased by 153 tb/d, according to secondary sources, to average 31.93 mb/

Product Markets and Refining Operations
Product markets exhibited a mixed performance in the Atlantic Basin, as the lack of export opportunities for gasoline amid increasing inflows of middle distillates impacted the European market. Meanwhile, stronger domestic gasoline demand in the US ahead of the transition to summer grades lent strong support to refinery margins. In Asia, the lack of arbitrage amid increasing inflows into the region weighed on the market despite the onset of the spring refinery maintenance season.

Tanker Market
The tanker market showed a mixed pattern in March. VLCCs exhibiting an average decline of 23% m-o-m in spot rates on its various trading routes, as the tonnage availability remained abundant. In contrast, Suezmax and Aframax rates increased m-o-m by 13%, and 6%, respectively, mainly due to transit delays in the Turkish Straits, discharge delays in the east, and occasional tightening in tonnage supply. The market experienced higher monthly freight rates for clean tankers on most reported routes.

Stock Movements
Total OECD commercial oil stocks fell in February to 2,987 mb to now stand 268 mb above the latest fiveyear average. Crude and product stocks indicated a surplus of around 227 mb and 41 mb, respectively. In terms of days of forward cover, OECD commercial stocks stood at 64.2 days, some 4.6 days higher than the latest five-year average.

Balance of Supply and Demand
Demand for OPEC crude in 2016 now stands at 31.7 mb/d, which is 1.9 mb/d higher than the 2015 level. In 2017, demand for OPEC crude is projected at 32.2 mb/d, around 0.6 mb/d higher than the 2016 level.

Complete Report
OPEC News Release 14 March 2017 .

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