Goldman Sachs’ commodity analysts remain guarded about crude oil’s potential to rise over the near term, but in next year, prices may start to improve, commodity chief Jeffrey Currie told Bloomberg’s Alix Steel.
Currie is sticking to the $35-a-barrel oil price forecast over the short term, he said, adding that if prices increased quickly, they would interfere with the market rebalancing by bringing more shale production back online.
As for demand and supply, Currie noted a marked improvement in demand, although in some parts of the U.S., it may be adversely affected by the resurgence in Covid-19 cases, notably in Texas and Florida.
In supply, OPEC+ has been doing better than expected, it appears, and Libya has yet to restart all of its fields, so the downside risk for oil prices from the supply side mostly comes from U.S. shale. However, it seems that producers are reluctant to restart shut-in production all at once, which should be positive for oil prices.
Separately, Goldman analysts said demand for oil is likely to recover to pre-crisis levels by 2022, spurred by a return to work for millions, a shift towards more private transport, and government support in the form of infrastructure spending.
“Oil demand has already started to recover with the initial pace of recovery surprising to the upside in economies like China and India. Demand is still below normalised level with June demand estimated to be 12% below last year levels,” the investment bank said as quoted by Reuters.
Gasoline will recover the fastest, Goldman also said, unlike jet fuel, which may have a long road to recovery ahead as consumers continue to shun air transport because of the coronavirus. Yet this fuel demand recovery is not a done deal. Any resurgence in coronavirus cases on a wider scale could arrest the trend and maybe even reverse it.