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Almost a month ago, analysts were buoyant about crude for the rest of the year for reasons like the OPEC squeeze – cut in production and geopolitical demand.
They have been predicting the improvement in the economy where the sanctions on Iran could propel Brent to $100 a barrel.
But the expert says there has been a weak demand, with the U.S., China, India, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Australia accounting for 48 per cent of the global demand.
In May and June, oil started to show weakness for several energy companies, and investors did not know how to track this bear market trend.
The demand weakened due to the disruptive economic slowdown in many countries and the longer-term threat of bans on plastics, widely used in petrochemical industries for transportation.
Some believe the key factor is the U.S. trade war with China, which is now expected to continue for more time and may impact oil demand.
The imposition of a 5 per cent tax on goods imported from Mexico will rise to 25 per cent by October over the illegal migration issue that has created pressure in the markets. Even the refiners are worried that the increase in tariffs will lead to higher-priced oil from Mexico.
The demand for crude was mixed in the last few weeks, where the IEA stated the demand from China grew from January to February by 410,000 barrels per day (BPD) year-over-year. India's demand grew by 300,000 BPD, and U.S. demand was close behind with 295,000 BPD of growth.
Currently, the market is undergoing a severe tug-of-war-like situation where the downward pressure has been created by the weaker demand and slow economic growth in the supplying countries, partially by some of the growth declination, as has been induced by U.S. protectionist policies.
Further, the policy changes in Asia, especially in China, push E.V.s to hit the oil future. Bloomberg reports claimed the demand will peak in China by 2025.
The production in the U.S. has continued to grow to attain new highs. The forecast shows 13.4 bpd produced by December 2019, where the production has been higher than expected, and supply projections have been revived many times.
The OPEC nations had one of the lowest productions in more than five years in May when the output was far below last year's October levels, and the projections are continuously lowering for Saudi Arabia.
At the same time, short-term supplies from Nigeria, Libya, Iran, and Venezuela are plentiful. Oman is not an OPEC member but has been producing crude, and China is the biggest buyer, with 84 per cent of the produce going to it, while the other buyers include Japan and India.
The reports claim Oman may have the highest economic growth compared to other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2020 due to improved diversification and expansion in the crude sector production.
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