Global oil market faces surplus throughout 2019 as demand growth slows

Oil output around the world has swelled since the middle of the year. (AFP)
Updated 14 November 2018
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Global oil market faces surplus throughout 2019 as demand growth slows

  • Output around the world has swelled since the middle of the year
  • The agency raised its forecast for oil output growth from countries outside OPEC

LONDON: Global oil supply will outpace demand throughout 2019, as a relentless rise in output swamps growth in consumption that is at risk from a slowing economy, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
In its monthly report the Paris-based IEA left its forecast for global demand growth for 2018 and 2019 unchanged from last month at 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) and 1.4 million bpd, respectively, but cut its forecast for non-OECD demand growth, the engine of expansion in world oil consumption.
For the first half of 2019, based on its outlook for non-OPEC production and global demand, and assuming flat OPEC production, the IEA said the implied stock build is 2 million bpd.
Output around the world has swelled since the middle of the year, while an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China threatens global economic growth.
On Wednesday, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that OPEC and its partners are discussing a proposal to cut oil output by up to 1.4 million bpd for 2019 to avert an oversupply that would weaken prices.
Since early October, the oil price has fallen by a quarter to below $70 a barrel, its lowest in eight months, which may protect demand to an extent, the IEA said.
“While slower economic growth in some countries reduces the outlook for oil demand, a significant downward revision to our price assumption is supportive,” it added.
The agency raised its forecast for oil output growth from countries outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to 2.4 million bpd this year and 1.9 million bpd next year, versus its previous estimate of 2.2 million bpd and 1.8 million bpd, respectively.
The United States will lead output growth. The IEA estimates total US oil supply will rise by 2.1 million bpd this year and another 1.3 million bpd in 2019, from a current record of more than 11 million bpd.
OPEC crude output rose by 200,000 bpd in October to 32.99 million bpd, up 240,000 bpd on a year ago, as losses of 400,000 bpd from Iran and 600,000 bpd from Venezuela were easily offset by increases from others, such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
“Next year, there is expected to be even less need for OPEC oil due to relentless growth in non-OPEC supply,” the IEA said, adding that it had cut its forecast for demand for OPEC crude by 300,000 bpd to 31.3 million bpd in 2019.
Inventories of oil in OECD countries rose by 12.1 million barrels in September to 2.875 billion barrels, the IEA said, adding that for the third quarter as a whole, stocks rose 58.1 million barrels, or at a rate of 630,000 bpd, the biggest increase since 2015.


Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

Updated 17 December 2018
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Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

  • The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive
  • The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary

TOKYO: The board of automaker Nissan meets Monday to discuss replacing former chairman Carlos Ghosn after his arrest for financial misconduct, as tensions grow in the firm’s alliance with Renault.
The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary.
But it appears unlikely to agree Monday on a permanent replacement for him, in part because of open discord in its alliance with French automaker Renault.
Nissan itself faces charges for allegedly submitting financial documents that understated Ghosn’s pay, and Renault is now reportedly seeking more sway on the Japanese firm’s board.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Renault urged Nissan in a letter to hold a shareholders meeting to discuss Renault’s representation on the firm’s nine-member board and within its top management.
It warned that Nissan’s indictment “creates significant risks to Renault, as Nissan’s largest shareholder, and to the stability of our industrial alliance,” the Journal reported.
A source with knowledge of the issue confirmed that Nissan had received the letter and was planning an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in January.
Renault’s letter is the latest sign of the tensions in the alliance that groups the firm with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors — a partnership that Ghosn forged and was often credited with holding together.
While Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors quickly removed Ghosn from leadership positions after his arrest, Renault has kept the auto executive on as CEO and chairman.
And while Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa launched a broadside against his former mentor shortly after his arrest, describing his “dark side,” Renault has approached the allegations more cautiously.
The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive, and Japanese media reports suggested it was unlikely to reach a decision on Monday.
“It slows things down, but it isn’t the end of the world,” a source close to the issue told AFP.
“We need to let them talk and decide properly. That’s more important than rushing.”
The company is instead likely to announce new governance measures intended to address criticism that it failed to prevent Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
As his former employer wrangles over his replacement, Ghosn remains in the one-man cell at a Tokyo detention center he has occupied since his shock arrest on November 19.
Prosecutors have already charged him with under-reporting his pay by around $44 million over the five years to 2015, and are also investigating claims he under-reported it further in the last three years.
He will be detained until at least December 20, when prosecutors will either file new charges or request another 10-day detention period while they continue investigations.
A range of additional claims of financial misconduct have been made against Ghosn, including using Nissan funds to purchase homes around the world, though prosecutors have yet to level those accusations formally.
He and his former right-hand man Greg Kelly, who is also under arrest, reportedly deny any wrongdoing.
The charges have sparked a legal battle over Ghosn’s flat in Rio de Janeiro, with Nissan trying to prevent his family members from accessing the property and removing items.
A Brazilian court authorized relatives to access the apartment, despite claims from Nissan that they were removing corporate documents.
Ghosn’s arrest marked a stunning reversal of fortune for the Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon, once revered in Japan for effectively rescuing Nissan from insolvency.
He helped engineer the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, creating a partnership that sold more cars than any other globally last year.