OPEC: WORLD ECONOMY & OIL MARKET
World economic growth has been revised down to 3.1% for 2015 and to 3.4% for 2016. While OECD growth remains unchanged at 2.0% for 2015 and 2.1% in 2016, major emerging economies are increasingly facing challenges. China's and India's growth forecasts have been revised down by 0.1 percentage points to now stand at 6.8% and 6.4% for China and at 7.4% and 7.6% for India in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
World Oil Demand
In 2015, world oil demand growth is expected to be around 1.46 mb/d after an upward revision of around 84 tb/d, mainly to reflect better-than-expected data from OECD region. In 2016, world oil demand is anticipated to rise by 1.29 mb/d after a downward revision of around 50 tb/d.
World Oil Supply
Non-OPEC oil supply is expected to grow by 0.88 mb/d in 2015, following a downward revision of around 72 tb/d, due to lower-than-expected output in the US. In 2016, nonOPEC oil supply is expected to increase slightly by 0.16 mb/d, a downward revision of 110 tb/d from the previous report. OPEC NGLs are expected to grow by 0.19 mb/d in 2015 and 0.17 mb/d in 2016. In August, OPEC crude production averaged 31.54 mb/d, according to secondary sources.
Review of developments in the world economy
The trend of the past years' moderate global growth is likely to continue. Recent world economic developments have caused the GDP growth forecast to be revised lower to stand at 3.1% in 2015 and it is expected to rise only modestly to 3.4% in 2016. While the group of emerging and developing economies has been the main growth engine in recent years, it has become clear that growth in this group is slowing down.
OECD economies are holding up well and are forecast to grow by 2.0% in the current year and by 2.1% in 2016 (Graph 1). While upside potential remains, the many uncertainties in the global economy in the current and next year have skewed the growth risk slightly to the downside. Nevertheless, global oil-demand growth, benefitting also from low oil prices has strengthened since the initial forecast, which may continue for the remainder of the year (Graph 2).
Within the OECD group of countries, growth in the US is forecast to remain solid, with improvements in the labour market to continue. Consequently, US GDP growth has been revised up to 2.5% from 2.4% previously. Low productivity and recently lower industry utilization rates, however, remain a drag on the economy. Moreover, the expectation of reaching the federal government's debt ceiling towards the end of the year will, as in the past, pose some uncertainty to the economy. In the Euro-zone, growth was slightly softer than expected in the past months and while the recovery continues, the region's ongoing sovereign debt issues and elections in some important economies raise uncertainty for the region. In addition, the slowing growth trend in China may also impact the Euro-zone's two largest exporters,
Germany and France. This is also applicable to Japan, which has close trading ties with China, and which has led to a downward revision of Japan's 2015 GDP growth from 1.2% previously, to now stand at 0.8%. Moreover, the necessity of Japan to continue improving its debt situation may lead to repeated tax increases in the coming year, which may dampen economic growth again.
Of the four major emerging economies, Brazil and Russia are in recession this year and Brazil's GDP is forecast to contract in 2016. While China continues to grow, it is forecast to grow at a slower pace of 6.8% in 2015 and 6.4% in 2016. So far signs of China recently moving towards a floating exchange rate regime, along with the past weeks' stock market developments, have not severely impacted the real economy. However, overcapacity, capital outflows and new financial market movements are more likely to impact China's economy. India, on the other hand, constitutes an exception, as growth is forecast to rise in 2016 to 7.6% from 7.4% in the current year, while 2Q15 growth has been lower than expected.
All in all, the importance of monetary decisions will also play a key-role in the near future. The decision of the US Fed regarding the timing and the magnitude of an interest rate hike may turn out to be an important factor for the global economy – particularly, as the ECB and the BoJ, and, recently, China's central bank, embark on a different strategy, i.e. increasing monetary support. This, together with the uncertainties about China's growth level has had a significant impact on currency markets, especially on emerging market currencies, which ultimately affect the oil-market.
Despite moderate economic growth, recent data shows better-than-expected oil-demand in the main consuming countries. This is mainly driven by lower oil prices. At the same time, US oil production has shown signs of slowing. This could contribute to a reduction in the imbalance of oil market fundamentals, however, it remains to be seen to what extent this can be achieved in the months to come.
Considering the latest softening developments in the global economy, global economic growth has been revised down by 0.1 percentage points (pp) for both 2015 and 2016. In the current year, the global economy is forecast to expand by 3.1%, followed by growth of 3.4% in the next year. The challenges in emerging and developing economies in particular have become more accentuated in the past weeks. China's slowdown has become more pronounced, and Brazil and Russia are now both forecast to face a considerable recession this year. Some support to global growth may come from a healthy trend in India. Also, the OECD is forecast to hold up well at 2.0% this year and 2.1% in the coming year. While some upside potential – mainly from the OECD and India – might lead to higher global growth, numerous uncertainties exist. Most importantly, the decelerating momentum in China, and the declining trend in Russia and Brazil will need close monitoring. Moreover, some fragility in the Euro-zone remains and the strength of the US growth trend remains to be seen. Japan will need to manage a balancing act involving fiscal tightening and, at the same time, stimulating its economy. Geopolitical issues and their potential spill-over into the real economy also constitute a challenge. Finally, central bank policies will be an influential factor, amid lower global inflation, most importantly the US Fed's interest rate decision in the coming months.
The upward revision of US 2Q15 GDP was surprisingly high. Growth in the 2Q was revised upwards from 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of 3.7% q-o-q, after growth of only 0.6% q-o-q SAAR in the 1Q15. This large increase in the 2Q15, compared to the very weak 1Q15 may also have been due to special factors that kept 1Q growth on the low side and pushed some economic activity into the 2Q. Among those factors are the cold weather and the West Coast port strike. It seems that the US economy is still relatively well-supported by an improving labour market, healthy private household consumption and a generally well-recovered economic environment. However, inventories contributed significantly to GDP growth in the first half: 0.87 pp in 1Q15 and 0.22 pp in 2Q15. So less support – at least for the 3Q15 – is expected from this side. But personal consumption expenditures remain the backbone of the US economy. This has held up very well, growing by 1.8% q-o-q and by 3.1% q-o-q in the 1Q15 and the 2Q15, respectively. There has also been some concern in recent weeks about the impact of a slow-down in China's economy. However, exports from the US to China account for less than 0.5% of GDP. While indirect effects may also be accounted for, the current slow-down in China does not seem to be a large issue for the US economy – at least for the time being. A major driver for the US economy is the continuously improving situation in the labour market. The unemployment rate now stands at only 5.1%, the lowest level since 2008.Also, non-farm payroll additions grew by a healthy 173,000 in August, after 245,000 job additions in July and in June. The share of long-term unemployed has remained relatively low, but rose to 27.7% in August from 26.9% in July. It remains considerably below this year's peak level of 31.5% in January. The participation rate, however, has remained at only 62.6%.
Canada is still experiencing a considerable slow-down, given significant weakness in its exports and the significant challenges for the energy sector due to low oil prices. GDP growth has now been confirmed to be negative for both the 1Q15 and the 2Q15 at -0.8% q-o-q SAAR and -0.5% q-o-q SAAR, respectively. Industrial production was clearly negative in the 2Q15 at -2.4% y-o-y, clearly less than the 1.1% growth from the 1Q15. The latest PMI for manufacturing from August indicates that this trend may continue. It stood at 49.4, clearly below the growth indicating level of 50. Given this current weakening trend, 2015 GDP growth has been revised sharply down to 0.7% from 1.5%. The 2016 growth forecast has also been lowered to 1.9% from 2.0%.
Japan's economy still remains in a relatively challenging situation. While 2Q15 GDP has been revised up to -1.2% q-o-q SAAR from -1.6% q-o-q SAAR, it remains clearly negative. China's current slow-down may also affect exports. While domestic demand is holding up relatively well, it is far from growing strongly. In addition to this, inflation remains at a very low level. Starting next year, the fiscal rebalancing will also most probably require another sales tax increase or other related measures to increase government income, which may bring down the sovereign debt situation. On a positive note, 1Q15 growth was reconfirmed at a high growth rate of 4.5% q-o-q SAAR and lead indicators point at a continuation of at least a moderate growth momentum. Moreover, the government has indicated that it may – again – support the economy by fiscal stimulus measures.
South Korea's 1Q15 and 2Q15 GDP growth was clearly below expectations. It is mirroring the challenges from the export business, which experienced a particularly large decline. 1Q15 GDP stood at only 2.5% y-o-y and slowed to 2.2% y-o-y in the 2Q15. On a quarterly base, exports declined by 0.1% y-o-y in the 1Q15 and by 1.0% yo-y in the 2Q15. The latest PMI numbers for manufacturing are mirroring this weak growth trend for the usually dynamic economy. The August PMI stood at only 47.9 after a level of 47.6 in July, both clearly below the growth indicating level of 50. Given the weakness in the economy, the GDP growth forecast has been revised down to 2.3% for 2015, from 2.7% previously. The 2016 growth forecast now stands at 2.7%, compared to 2.8% in the last month.
The Euro-zone continues its recovery. Quarterly GDP growth for both the 1Q15 and the 2Q15 have been revised up, and lead indicators and output numbers point at a continuation of this trend. 1Q14 GDP growth was revised up to 0.5% q-o-q from 0.4% previously, while 2Q15 GDP growth now stands at 0.4% q-o-q, compared to an initial estimate of 0.3% q-o-q, based on information from Eurostat, the European statistical office. However, to some extent the trend could disappoint, given some lingering uncertainties, not only about the strength of the recovery in the peripheral economies but also about the elections in Greece and in Spain in the coming months. Both could again open the ground for discussions about the implemented austerity measures and ongoing support programmes. Greece will hold new elections on 20 September. This may again lead to newly revived discussions about the Euro-zone's bail-out package.
Spain will hold elections in December.
The positive underlying momentum so far has been reflected in the latest industrial production number, which increased by 1.3% y-o-y in June after 1.4% y-o-y in May. The capacity utilisation rate remained at a considerable level of 81.1% in 3Q15 after 81.2% in 2Q15. Moreover, retail trade performed very well, with a yearly growth rate of 2.6% y-o-y in July after 1.7% y-o-y in June. Challenges in the labour market, however, remain. The unemployment rate declined to 10.9% in July, which is lower than the 11.1% level in June, but it still constitutes a considerable level. While the ECB is continuing with its liquidity programme and has pointed out that it may even increase its current programme if necessary, inflation has not managed to rise. It rose only by 0.2% y-o-y in August, about the same level as in July. Positively, core inflation – excluding energy and food – rose at a higher level in August, by 0.9% y-o-y, also the same level as in July. Moreover, the support of the ECB for credit lending appears to continue to be improving. After three years of decline, loan growth was positive for every month in the current year. In July, it posted the highest growth rate of 1.6%.
Growth in the UK remains solid. The statistical office has confirmed that GDP grew by 0.7% q-o-q in 2Q15, after a 1Q15 growth rate of 0.4% y-o-y. While growth is forecast to remain firm this year and in 2016, the rising sovereign debt level is an element that probably will need closer monitoring in the coming year. Some strengthening in the economy has also been confirmed in the latest PMI number for the manufacturing sector, which stood almost unchanged at 51.5 in August, compared to 51.9 in July, However, the services sector PMI fell to 55.6 from 57.4 in July and compared to 58.5 in June. GDP growth this year seems to be well supported. It is forecast – unchanged from last month – at 2.5% for both 2015 and 2016.
Emerging and Developing Economies
Brazil's major macroeconomic indicators have been consistently pointing to the downside since the beginning of the year. GDP contracted 2.6% y-o-y in 2Q15, following a drop of 1.6% in 1Q15. The Brazilian real lost nearly one-third of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year and inflation has remained on a notably upwards trend since January. The consumer confidence index summarizes the country's recent economic momentum, breaking low records in each of the past eight months. GDP is now anticipated to contract by 2.0% in 2015, compared to last month's forecast of just -1.3%. Looking ahead, GDP in 2016 is projected to shrink by 0.3% compared to the growth of 0.7% expected last month.
In Russia, the latest data demonstrates further economic deceleration. GDP shrank 4.6% y-o-y in 2Q15, following a 2.2% drop in 1Q15. Retail sales in July were in the contraction territory for the seventh consecutive month, while the manufacturing sector is showing no signs of recovery. As a result, GDP growth expectations are slightly lower this month, forecast to contract 3.0% in 2015. The forecast for 2016 points to growth of around 0.8%.
India's GDP growth moderated to 7.0% y-o-y in 2Q15, falling slightly from 7.5% in the 1Q15. This was weaker than markets had anticipated and strengthens the case for additional monetary stimulus. Domestic demand has failed to pick up in any notable fashion: investment is slightly better, but consumer spending has slowed. Combined with a persistent weakness in exports, this makes for a less sanguine near-term outlook. In addition to the growth figures, GDP deflator data shows little in the way of broad inflationary pressures on the economy. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has room to – and indeed should – provide another dose of monetary stimulus.
Evidence of the Chinese economic slowdown has been abundant, even from the government's own data. The Chinese economy is threatened by overcapacity and it seems the producer price index is showing a 41-month negative number. The latest survey data indicated that operating conditions faced by Chinese manufacturers continued to deteriorate in June, albeit at a weaker rate. But it seems the Peoples' Bank of China (PBOC) wants to support economic growth in the mid-term through monetary easing. For this reason, the PBOC announced it would cut benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points (bp) effective 26 August.
World Oil Demand
World oil demand growth in 2015 was revised upward by around 84 tb/d as a result of better-than-expected performance from OECD America and Europe in 1H15. As a result, 2015 world oil demand growth currently stands at 1.46 mb/d, leading to total global consumption of 92.79 mb/d. In contrast, world oil demand growth in 2016 was revised downward by 50 tb/d due to the projected slower economic momentum in Latin America and China. World oil demand growth is now anticipated at 1.29 mb/d, leading to total global consumption of around 94.08 mb/d.
World Oil Supply
Non-OPEC oil supply is estimated to have averaged 57.43 mb/d in 2015, revised down by 33 tb/d in absolute volume from the previous Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), while y-o-y growth was revised down by 72 tb/d to average 0.88 mb/d.
Non-OPEC supply growth was revised down, due to a downward revision in US oil production growth by 0.17 mb/d, in which 1H15 was revised down by an average of 0.07 mb/d based on a new production estimation methodology adopted by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, there have been upward revisions in certain countries. At the same time, non-OPEC historical data in 2014 was revised up by 40 tb/d to average 56.55 mb/d. OECD Americas is expected to be the main driver of growth, increasing by 0.67 mb/d in 2015. Non-OPEC oil supply is projected to grow by 0.16 mb/d in 2016, down by 0.11 mb/d from the previous assessment, to average 57.59 mb/d, mostly on the back of Brazil's lower estimation and the US reduction carried over from 2015.
OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids grew by 190 tb/d to average 6.01 mb/d in 2015, and they are also forecast to grow by 0.17 mb/d to average 6.18 mb/d in 2016. In August 2015, OPEC crude oil production increased by a marginal 13 tb/d to average 31.54 mb/d, according to secondary sources. As a result, preliminary data indicates that world oil supply decreased by 0.53 mb/d in August to average
Forecast for 2016
Non-OPEC oil supply in 2016 is expected to grow by 0.16 mb/d to average 57.59 mb/d, a downward revision of 0.11 mb/d, as historical revisions to 2014 and 2015 have been carried over to the 2016 supply forecast (changing the base). Moreover, the number of anticipated projects in 2016 in Brazil, for example, were deferred to the next years or put on the hold for final investment decision (FID). US tight oil production in 2016 was revised down by around 100 tb/d due to the carry-over of the lower historical production in 1H15, which was recently revised down by EIA through their new production estimation methodology adopted from 31 August 2015.
On a regional basis, OECD Americas is expected to have the highest growth in 2016 by 0.30 mb/d, followed by China at 0.06 mb/d, Other Asia at 0.05 mb/d, Latin America at 0.04 mb/d and OECD Asia Pacific at 0.02 mb/d. Oil production is expected to decline in FSU by 0.22 mb/d, Africa at 0.05 mb/d, the Middle East at 0.03 mb/d and finally, OECD Europe at 0.02 mb/d, in 2016.
On a quarterly basis, non-OPEC supply in 2016 is expected to average 57.45 mb/d, 57.28 mb/d, 57.42 mb/d and 58.20 mb/d, respectively.
OPEC crude oil production
According to secondary sources, total OPEC crude oil production averaged 31.54 mb/d in August. Crude oil output increased mostly from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while production in Iraq and Angola showed the largest drop. According to secondary sources, OPEC crude oil production, not including Iraq, stood at 27.48 mb/d in August, up by 99 tb/d over the previous month.
World oil supply
Preliminary data indicates that global oil supply decreased by 0.53 mb/d to average 94.62 mb/d in August 2015 compared with the previous month. This decline was due to the drop in non-OPEC supply. The share of OPEC crude oil at 33.34% of total global production increased in August, compared to a month earlier. Estimates are based on preliminary data for non-OPEC supply and OPEC NGLS, while OPEC crude production is reported according to secondary sources.
Balance of Supply and Demand
Demand for OPEC crude in 2015 was revised up by 0.1 mb/d from the previous report to stand at 29.3 mb/d, which is 0.4 mb/d higher than the 2014 level. In 2016, the demand for OPEC crude is projected to be 30.3 mb/d, or 0.2 mb/d above the previous report and around 1.0 mb/d higher than this year.
Forecast for 2015
Demand for OPEC crude in 2015 was revised up by 0.1 mb/d from the previous month to 29.3 mb/d, representing an increase of 0.4 mb/d over the 2014 level. The first two quarters were revised up by 0.2 mb/d each, while the third and fourth quarters were revised up by 0.1 mb/d each. This upward revision reflects an upswing in demand combined with a downward adjustment to non-OPEC production. The first quarter fell by 0.6 mb/d, while the second quarter grew by 0.2 mb/d. The third and the fourth quarters are expected to see growth of 0.5 mb/ and 1.5 mb/d, respectively, versus the same quarter a year ago.
Forecast for 2016
Demand for OPEC crude in 2016 saw an upward revision of 0.2 mb/d from the previous month. The first and the second quarters were revised up by 0.2 mb/d and 0.3 mb/d, respectively, while the third and the fourth quarters were revised up by 0.1 mb/d and 0.2 mb/d, respectively. Demand for OPEC crude for next year is projected to increase by 1.0 mb/d to average 30.3 mb/d. The first and second quarters are expected to increase by 1.6 mb/d and 1.4 mb/d, respectively, while the third and the fourth quarters are projected to increase by 0.7 mb/d and 0.2 mb/d, respectively.
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FT - of the six LNG tankers that have made deliveries into the UK so far in 2018 three have carried cargoes originally from Russia, leading to questions about whether Moscow was gaining a foothold in the UK gas market after starting up the Yamal LNG facility in Siberia late last year.
REUTERS - So far this year, two Yamal cargoes unloaded at British terminals for domestic consumption, accounting for about a third of Britain’s 2018 LNG imports after typical supplier Qatar pre-sold the bulk of its winter output to Asia last year.
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