The vast majority of 22 oil experts surveyed by CNBC this week expects WT Crude to trade between $50 and $70 a barrel at the end of August, and most analysts see demand and trade disputes as the biggest driver of oil prices right now, despite escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran.
According to the CNBC Oil Survey conducted between June 21 and 26, fifty percent of experts polled expect WTI Crude to be between $60 and $69.99 at the end of August, a range that is just above the current WTI price of $59. Another 41 percent expect WTI in the $50-60 range—the range in which the U.S. benchmark has traded since January this year.
The CNBC survey also found that 52 percent of oil experts see Brent Crude in the $60-69.99 range, where prices have mostly stood this year. Another 38 percent of analysts see Brent prices in the $70-79.99 range at the end of August.
A total of 41 percent see global demand as the single biggest driver of oil prices now, while another 18 percent see the U.S. trade disputes with other countries as the determining factor for oil prices, as protracted disputes could weaken demand. Just 14 percent of experts polled see geopolitics as the single biggest driver of the price of oil.
A total of 36 percent of respondents don’t expect the U.S. and Iran to get to a military confrontation, while 23 percent expect limited missile strikes. Another 18 percent expect skirmishes in the water, and only 9 percent see a major conflict or massive strikes coming.
Global oil demand is also the key concern of 42 analysts and economists in the monthly Reuters poll on this year’s average oil prices.
The experts now see Brent Crude averaging $67.59 a barrel this year, down from the $68.84 forecast in May and just above the $66.17 average price so far this year. Experts see WTI Crude trading at average $59.30 a barrel in 2019, down from the $60.62 projection in May and compared to the $57.45 average so far in 2019.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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