Oil Price Gains Prompt Debate Over Demand Slowdown

The IEA is seeing signs that the global oil market is overheating, with recent price gains towards $80/B Brent potentially dampening demand growth. Opec meanwhile is sticking to the line it pursued in January when prices edged above $70/B for the first time since December 2014, that short-term price movements will not impinge its strategy ( MEES, 12 January ).

There is certainly a lot of market volatility ahead of Opec’s next meeting in Vienna on 22 June. Recent price gains have been spurred by geopolitical concerns surrounding the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal - although any output drop-off will take a number of months to materialize ( MEES, 11 May ). Ongoing concerns over collapsing output in Venezuela also contribute.


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