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Goldman upgrades oil demand outlook as market tempers growth pessimism

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs on Sunday revised up its global oil demand forecast for the year while sticking to its 12-month Brent price projection of $93 per barrel as higher realized inventories offset the demand boost from a less pessimistic growth outlook.

Goldman analysts estimate global oil demand climbed to an all-time high of 102.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in July and see solid demand driving a larger-than-expected 1.8 million bpd deficit in the second half this year and a 0.6 million bpd deficit in 2024.

A reduced recession risk and a strong effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to push up prices support Goldman’s view on higher oil prices and an outlook for less volatility, the analysts wrote in a note.

Oil prices hovered near three-month highs on Monday, set to post their biggest monthly gains in over a year on expectations that Saudi Arabia would extend voluntary output cuts into September and tighten global supply. [O/R]

Saudi supply cuts have brought back deficits, the Goldman analysts said, adding that they see the extra 1 million bpd Saudi cut to last through September and be halved from October.

The Wall-Street bank upgraded its oil demand estimate by around 550,000 bpd and sees 2023 supply higher by around 175,000 bpd.

The bank maintained its $86 a barrel Brent forecast for December 2023, and it expects prices to rise to $93 per barrel in the second quarter next year as supply deficits continue.

“However, the significant rise in OPEC spare capacity over the past year, the return to growth in international offshore projects, and declining U.S. oil production costs limit the upside to prices,” it said.

Brent futures were trading around $84 a barrel by 0353 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude was around $80.

(Reporting by Ananya Bajpai and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)