Goldman Sachs lifted its crude oil price forecast for 2020 on the grounds that OPEC’s deeper production cuts will help the market avoid oversupply, Bloomberg reports, citing an emailed report from the investment bank.
Goldman said it now expected Brent crude to average $63 per barrel in 2020, with West Texas Intermediate seen at $58.50 per barrel. The so-called long-term anchor price for Brent was set at $55 per barrel, with WTI pegged at $50 per barrel.
OPEC and Russia agreed last week to deepen the production cuts that helped stabilized prices this year by adding another half a million bpd to the current production quotas. On top of that, Saudi Arabia will continue to exceed its production quota by 400,000 bpd. The question of how the cartel will enforce these cuts given the history of non-compliance among some members, notably Iraq, and non-members (Russia) remains open, however.
In case of 100-percent compliance, the latest agreement could see as much as 2.1 million bpd taken off global oil markets. That, according to Goldman, would shrink the discrepancy between demand and supply by 300,000 bpd in 2020. Yet at the same time, the investment banks sees a 600,000-bpd growth in U.S. oil supply, which will offset half of the estimated reduction in global supply.
Whether Goldman’s price forecast will materialize remains to be seen. While benchmark prices jumped on Friday, after the announcement of the additional cuts agreement, today they were already down, pressured by weak Chinese exports data.
Price movements like these are evidence that OPEC’s decisions on production are not at all the biggest factor determining the direction of prices. What’s more, these decisions have lately lost the element of surprise that in the past held prices higher for longer. Now, few expect OPEC and Russia to not agree on production adjustments. Sticking to these adjustments is a whole other matter, and it tends to be factored in prices, too, pressuring them almost before they rally on the official OPEC announcements.