Morgan Stanley, UBS analysts cut oil outlooks on recession fears

Oil barrels Source: iStock

Mounting fears of recessions in major economies as well as China’s inability to throw off its virus shackles have oil analysts slashing their price forecasts for the rest of this year.

Morgan Stanley and UBS Group AG cut their near-term outlooks for crude by as much as $15 a barrel amid the deteriorating backdrop, and as Russian oil keeps flowing to Asia and elsewhere. 

Brent crude has plunged by around a third since peaking in early March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s tipped to drop further over the next few months, although it may rebound next year as economies rebound and less Russian crude makes it to market. 

Here’s a summary of what analysts are saying:

Morgan Stanley

Bank reduced its near-term outlook for Brent due to inflation and a sharp slowdown in demand, analysts including Martijn Rats said in a note.

Cut price outlook for third quarter by $12 a barrel to $98 and lowered estimate for fourth quarter by $5 to $95. Maintained quarterly forecasts for 2023 at $100 and above as it sees a firmer market from the second quarter.

Russian oil exports are likely to decline materially, with an estimated drop of 1.5 million to 2 million barrels a day into early 2023.

UBS Group AG

Bank slashed its year-end forecast for Brent by $15 a barrel to $110 on China lockdowns and still-elevated Russian exports, analysts including Giovanni Staunovo said in a note.

The restrictions in China will slow the near-term demand recovery despite the rise in crude imports in August.

Russian exports have been more resilient than expected, with high volumes of crude flowing into European countries such as Italy.

Brent crude expected to recover to $125 a barrel by the end of September 2023 as the market tightens due to the end of strategic reserve sales and more demand for oil products to generate electricity.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Bank expected Brent to rise toward its 2023 forecast of $125 a barrel in the event of an agreed price-cap on Russian oil exports, analysts including Damien Courvalin said in a note released Sept. 2.

Russian supply to likely fall by 1 million barrels a day compared with pre-war levels under such a scenario.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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