World Bank sees higher crude oil prices

04 May 2016, Washington — The World Bank last week raised its 2016 forecast for crude oil prices to $41 per barrel from $37 per barrel amid improving market sentiment and a weakening dollar.

crude oil prices1In its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, the authors say an oversupply in markets is expected to recede.

“We expect slightly higher prices for energy commodities over the course of the year as markets rebalance after a period of oversupply. Still, energy prices could fall further if Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increases production significantly and non-OPEC production does not fall as fast as expected,” John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodities Markets Outlook said.

The crude oil market rebounded from a low of $25 per barrel in mid-January to $40 per barrel in April following production disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria and a decline in non-OPEC production, mainly United States shale.

A proposed production freeze by major producers failed to materialize at a meeting in mid-April.

All main commodity indexes tracked by the World Bank are expected to decline in 2016 from the year before due to persistently elevated supplies, and in the case of industrial commodities – which include energy, metals, and agricultural raw materials — weak growth prospects in emerging market and developing economies.

Energy prices, including oil, natural gas and coal, are due to fall 19.3% in 2016 from the previous year, a more gradual drop than the 24.7% slide forecast in January. Non-energy commodities, such as metals and minerals, agriculture, and fertilizers, are due to decline 5.1 percent this year, a downward revision from the 3.7 percent drop forecast in January..

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