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Brent prices have spent this week rangebound at around $44/B, their highest level since the start of December. The 17 April meeting in Qatar of key Opec and non-Opec producers has apparently been the key supporting factor.
More substantial support comes from expectations that oil markets will move towards balance in the second half of 2016, based on buoyant global oil demand forecasts and falling non-Opec output. Crucially, such forecasts are not dependent on anything market-changing being agreed in Doha.
The IEA, which like MEES expects little substantive to emerge from the 17 April ‘freeze’ meeting (the chances are that there will be a deal but that it will mean little in terms of supply and demand fundamentals), says in its latest Oil Market Report, released 14 March that “market balance draws near.”
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