Production Curbs Help Market Inch Towards Balance

The latest figures from the IEA and Opec show a market increasingly moving towards balance, albeit slowly. Whilst Opec has cut by more than most observers expected this has been part-balanced by a rapid ramp-up in US output. Even if Opec producers maintain current cuts then rebalancing – defined as a 270mn barrel stockdraw – will be achieved no earlier than the fourth quarter.

Although Opec countries have made sizeable cuts since January, they have yet to offset the excesses caused by their ramp-up of output to a series of record highs in late-2016. Small wonder that US commercial crude inventories hit a new all-time high of 528.4mn barrels on 3 March, before edging lower to 528.1mn barrels this week. This brought an end to a run of nine consecutive weekly builds caused by buoyant shale production as well as imports. (CONTINUED - 1466 WORDS)


chart 1: Iea Figures Imply Market Rebalancing* In Q4 2017... (Cumulative 2017 Stock Drawdown Mn Barrels)
chart 2: ...But Opec’s Numbers Have The Market Waiting Until Well Into 2018
table IEA Supply & Demand Forecasts March 2017 (Mn B/D)
table OPEC Supply & Demand Forecasts, March 2017 (Mn B/D)
chart 3: Brazil Crude Output (Mn B/D): January Was Second Only To December As The Highest On Record
chart 4: Oman Oil* Output (‘000 B/D): Still Adhering To Target Levels...
chart 5: ...But Russia Still Has Some Way To Go