Saudi Arabia’s Apicorp predicts $60-$70 oil price by summer

A Chinese commuter sets off for work in Beijing. After a turbulent end to 2018, hopes of an end to the China-US trade dispute have buoyed oil prices. (AP Photo)
Updated 09 January 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Apicorp predicts $60-$70 oil price by summer

  • Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) made the prediction in a report as the oil price again ticked higher
  • After a turbulent final quarter in 2018, oil prices have been supported in the first week of 2019 by cuts from OPEC producers and Russia

LONDON: A top Saudi energy project funder expects oil to trade between $60 and $70 by mid-2019 as the price of crude rose on Tuesday.
Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) made the prediction in a report as the oil price again ticked higher, supported by the hopes that talks between China and the US would defuse current trade tensions.
“I think there is a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with and that we can live with,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
After a turbulent final quarter in 2018, oil prices have been supported in the first week of 2019 by cuts from OPEC producers and Russia.
However, a glut of new US supply and a surge in shale oil drilling is also putting downward pressure on the price.
S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday lowered its average annual price assumptions for both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for 2019 by $10 per barrel to $55 and $50, respectively.
“The ongoing trade war between the US and China as well as news of China’s economic slowdown, has led to concerns about the outlook for global demand,” the ratings agency said in a statement.
“Moreover OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia and Russia, were producing at record levels to offset what was expected to be a meaningful reduction in global supply due to the Iranian sanctions.
“However, the sanctions fell short of expectations on Nov. 2 when it was announced that eight countries would be exempted for six months from Iranian oil import sanctions. This had the effect of drastically increasing the amount of oil expected to be on the market.”

Apicorp, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, is a multilateral development bank with shareholders from KSA, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Iraq and Libya.


Economists fear a US recession in 2021

Updated 34 min 41 sec ago

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

  • Trump’s higher budget deficits ‘might dampen the economy’

WASHINGTON: A number of US business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the US by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken in February. Only 2 percent of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38 percent predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key US trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. 

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But US trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the US and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60 percent of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the US buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a US recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of US-China trade negotiations. Only 5 percent predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64 percent suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25 percent expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10 percent tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. US retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.