OPEC sees tighter 2017 crude market

Updated 12 July 2016
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OPEC sees tighter 2017 crude market

LONDON: OPEC has given an upbeat outlook for the oil market in 2017, saying global demand for its crude would be higher than its current production and pointing to a supply deficit rather than a sizeable surplus that has weighed on prices.
However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a monthly report also cut its forecast for world economic growth this year, citing increased uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and said the pace of oil demand growth would slow slightly next year, in its first 2017 forecast.
“After the UK’s referendum to leave the EU, economic uncertainty has increased,” OPEC said in the report. “Potential negative effects have led to a downward revision of global economic growth in 2016 to 3.0 percent from 3.1 percent.”
Other forecasters including the International Monetary Fund have cut economic growth outlooks following the UK referendum. Concern about the economic impact of Brexit has weighed on oil prices, which at $47 a barrel have fallen from a 2016 high close to $53 in early June.
World oil demand will rise by 1.15 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, OPEC said, its first forecast for next year in the monthly report. That marks a slight slowdown from growth of 1.19 million bpd expected in 2016.
Oil prices have halved from two years ago in a drop that deepened after OPEC refused in late 2014 to cut output to support prices, hoping that cheaper oil would curb higher-cost rival supply such as US shale.
Despite a “dampening effect” of Brexit on the world economy next year, OPEC’s 2017 market outlook suggests the strategy is working as it expects oil supply outside the group to fall further, helping to boost demand for its own crude.
OPEC forecasts supply from outside producers will decline by 110,000 bpd in 2017 after an 880,000-bpd drop this year. The price drop since 2014 has hit non-OPEC supply as companies have delayed or canceled projects around the world.
Oil output from OPEC, adjusted to include returning member Gabon, rose 264,000 bpd to 32.86 million bpd in June, OPEC said. It expects demand for its crude in 2017 to average 32.98 million bpd, suggesting a supply deficit if OPEC keeps output steady.
Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised output to 10.55 million bpd in June. The kingdom said it pumped 10.56 million bpd, a record, in June last year.
OPEC’s report points to a sizeable average surplus of 1 million bpd this year, but also to demand for its crude exceeding current production in the third quarter. The last full quarter when OPEC pumped less than demand for its crude was in 2013, according to past OPEC reports.
“The contraction seen this year in non-OPEC supply is expected to continue in 2017 but at a slower pace,” OPEC said. “Market conditions will help remove overall excess oil stocks in 2017.”


British PM May: 'I will not break up my country for EU Brexit deal'

Updated 21 September 2018
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British PM May: 'I will not break up my country for EU Brexit deal'

  • Theresa May hits back with angry statement after EU leaders rejected May’s Chequers plan
  • Sterling plummets as both sides warn they are planning for a no-deal scenario

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday Brexit talks with the European Union had hit an impasse, defiantly challenging the bloc to come up with their own plans a day after the bloc’s leaders savaged her proposals.
At a summit in Austria on Thursday, EU leaders rejected May’s “Chequers” plan, saying she needed to give ground on trade and customs arrangements for the UK border with Ireland.
The British media said the response had left her proposals in tatters, and May angrily struck back in a televised address from her Downing Street office, saying neither side should expect the impossible from the other.
“Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect,” May said. “The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.”
Sterling extended its losses as May spoke, falling to as low as $1.3080, about 1.4 percent on the day, putting it on course for its biggest one-day drop this year, over growing fears Britain could leave the EU without any deal.
May has said the Chequers proposals for trade with the EU, which would resolve arguments over the border of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic, were the only way forward. EU leaders in Salzburg repeated their view that the plans would undermine their cherished single market.
After the summit, EU leaders said they would push for an agreement next month, but both sides have warned they are planning for a no-deal scenario.
“It’s not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals,” May said. “So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are, what their alternative is, so that we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress.”
May, who commands a majority in parliament only with the support of a small pro-Brexit Northern Irish party, said she could not agree to any deal which treated Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the United Kingdom.
The EU insists that there can be no hard border between the British province and the Irish Republic, with Northern Ireland remaining in the bloc’s customs union or effectively establishing a border in the Irish Sea if no alternative deal is reached.
“I will not overturn the result of the referendum nor will I break up my country,” she said. “We need serious engagement on resolving the two main problems in the negotiations and we stand ready.”
However, she said no matter what happened, the rights of three million EU citizens living in the United Kingdom would be protected.
Earlier, her Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said some EU leaders had shown unstatesmanlike behavior in Salzburg.
“We’ve already compromised hugely with the Chequers proposals,” Raab told BBC TV. “What we’re not going to do is be salami sliced throughout this negotiation in a typical style that the EU engages in without movement on the other side.”
For the British media, the message from Salzburg had been clear. “Your Brexit’s broken,” the Daily Mirror newspaper said.
Newspapers led their front pages with a Reuters picture showing May, dressed in a red jacket, standing apparently aloof and alone from a mass of suited male EU leaders.
May faces a fight with angry Conservative lawmakers at her party’s annual conference from Sept. 30.
Many have voiced opposition to her plans, which they said would bind Britain into much EU regulation in return for free trade, and some would prefer a no-deal “hard Brexit” in March, despite warnings that would ravage the British economy.
“Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating strategy has been a disaster,” opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said. “The Tories have spent more time arguing among themselves than negotiating with the EU.
“The political games from both the EU and our government need to end because no deal is not an option.”
In response to May’s statement, the Confederation of British Industry and other business bodies said they wanted to see constructive dialogue, not rhetoric.
Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan added his voice to those including union and business leaders who said there should be a second Brexit referendum. Scotland’s top court ruled on Friday that the European Court of Justice should consider whether Britain could unilaterally change its mind on Brexit.
“The referendum was the largest democratic exercise this country has ever undergone,” said May, who has repeatedly ruled out a second vote following the original 2016 referendum. “To deny its legitimacy or frustrate its result threatens public trust in our democracy.”