The first few weeks in April saw several records broken, firstly it was confirmed that Brent prices recorded their worst quarter downswing in living memory, however following confirmation of OPEC+ talks Brent prices saw the biggest intraday rally in history, albeit short lived. During the OPEC+ meeting it was agreed that cuts of 10m barrels per day would be implemented which is around 10% of global demand, this agreed cut way below what most analysts believe is required to counterbalance the social/economic reductions seen in Oil requirements from COVID-19 which are currently estimated to be around 30%. Brent started the month at $26 to currently sit on $21, however WTI which is the US index saw major falls from $23 to negative $4 as of 20th April 2020.
With many businesses being forced to close their doors due to the impact of the Coronavirus many suppliers are changing both their terms and conditions and credit criteria on an ongoing basis.
Most World financial markets saw huge downward swings in March due to the rising numbers of Coronavirus with many Governments invoking lockdown measures to try and protect and reduce the ongoing pandemic.
Oil in particular saw huge falls with OPEC, Russia and the US all refusing to collaborate on a reduction in supply into a much reduced demand system.
On the 11th February 2020 The International Energy Agency released their report showing that energy related global carbon emissions were unchanged year on year in 2019 at 33 gigatonnes.
As the New Year was brought in with a bang it is worth checking on how wholesale oil prices moved inline with some of the market expert forecasts. We have complied a list of some of the large fund managers and industry experts to see how their predictions matched up with market reality.
For reference there are two main indices for Oil, these being the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) which comes from the United States and is the benchmark for U.S. oil prices. Brent Crude Oil Futures comes from Northwest Europe and is the benchmark for global oil prices. For the purposes of this we have used Brent.
1st January Brent Crude Oil Futures – $59 / barrel
- World Bank – Predicted an average cost per barrel in 2019 of $67
- Citi Bank – Predicted an average cost per barrel in 2019 of $60
- Bank of America – Predicted an average cost per barrel in 2019 of $70
- EIA – Predicted an average cost per barrel in 2019 of $61
- RBC Capital Markets – Predicted oil prices could top $80
- Iran – Predicted oil prices could top $100
- Eurasia Group – Predicted oil prices over $100 and possibly $150 if tensions with Iran increased significantly
So what was the actual average for 2019….