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The Puzzle of Oil Demand Assessment

09/01/2020 | 05:58am
There is a calm mood in the markets, which certainly best illustrate the uncertainty of the operators, torn between the hopes of an economic recovery and the fears of a second wave of Covid-19s here and abroad. In other words, oil prices rise when macroeconomic conditions improve and then fall when advanced indicators of crude oil demand deteriorate. Therefore, while prices have been moving favourably since the beginning of May, the volatility is clearly reduced, and is severe, reflecting the low amplitude of the last weekly candlesticks. The weekly performances are practically null, one summer is boring and annoying; the image of the last OPEC+ meeting. The meeting was conducted via video conference and discussions focused on compliance rates of the members of the organization. As such, while fundamentals have improved in recent months with a reduction in the gap between global supply and demand, the cartel insists on the fragility of demand, without announcing new measures to restrict supply. It is therefore appropriate to take a more measured and consistent view of consumption and production expectations for the coming months. After having been particularly optimistic in recent months, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revised its forecasts for demand, which are expected to fall by 8.1 million barrels per day (mbpd) this year and then rise by 5.2 mbpd in 2021. A forecast which remains at least more favourable than that of OPEC, which expects a similarly severe destruction of demand; 9.1 mbd in 2020. Graphically, in weekly data, Brent prices are progressing slowly but surely, making it possible to fill the gap opened on March 9. If the price of Brent crude oil falls below this level, which is roughly USD 46, it could reach the next major levels of USD 49 (moving average; 50 weeks) and then the psychological threshold of USD 50 per barrel. On the other hand, as long as the prices remain tied, we will favour the consolidation scenario, which is technically and fundamentally legitimate, through this technical zone.
Jordan Dufee
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