OPEC cuts crude demand forecast once more   

15 March 2019 : In its March oil market report, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its share of global crude demand forecast for 2019 by 100,000 bpd to c.30.5 million bpd. However, the organization kept its global growth forecast-a major driver of slowing crude demand forecasts-steady at 3.3% for 2019, lower than the IMF’s projection of 3.5%. Meanwhile, data in the March report contradicts claims from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, that Nigeria had been compliant with the OPEC-directed cuts, with the report stating that Nigeria had produced c.1.74 million bpd in February, exceeding the OPEC-imposed limit of 1.69 million bpd. With 79% compliance to the OPEC cut agreed in December, Brent crude has appreciated by 28% year to date. The rise in Brent price has been majorly aided by Saudi Arabia’s sustained output cuts, with the oil-rich country shedding a further 86,000 bpd in February. The kingdom also intends to cut exports in April, with Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih saying he favours maintaining the cut into the second half of the year. Overall, analysts expect OPEC supply cut to provide a cushion for oil prices amidst rising US shale output. 

Reporting for EasyKobo on Friday , 15 March 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria

Source: Vetiva Capital Management Limited

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