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Although analysts expect that OPEC will decide to cut production, they revised down their forecast for average WTI price to $67.45 in 2019, as surging supply and unclear demand outlook are expected to limit oil price gains, a Reuters poll of 38 analysts and economists showed on Friday.
The experts now expect WTI Crude prices to average $67.45 next year, down from $70.15 in the previous poll at end-October, when analysts had widely expected the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil to support prices into next year.
WTI Crude prices have averaged $66.40 so far in 2018.
This month’s poll found that analysts and economists also see lower average price for Brent Crude next year—at $74.50 a barrel, down from the $76.88 projection in October. For this year, the experts see Brent prices averaging $73.20, in line with the $73 average price so far in 2018.
Half of the analysts and experts who took part in both Reuters polls this month and last—16 out of 32—revised down their average price estimate for Brent Crude next year.
The lowest Brent projection for 2019 came from Citi, at $57, while Raymond James and ABN Amro had the highest estimate at $90.
Brent Crude is expected to average $75.50 a barrel in 2019, according to an S&P Global Platts survey last week of 11 top banks and oil brokers, who see OPEC cutting oil production by at least 1 million bpd and oil demand growth still healthy despite signs of weakness.
In the Reuters poll on Friday, the experts are factoring in reduced lower end of the demand growth range for 2019 in their oil price forecasts, apart from rising supply from the U.S. and recovering production in Libya and Nigeria. Participants in the poll expect oil demand to grow by between 900,000 bpd and 1.5 million bpd next year, compared with a growth range of 1.1 million bpd to 1.5 million bpd expected in the October poll.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.