Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Oil prices fall 10% in 2023 due to supply and demand concerns

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Oil futures lost more than ten percent on the last trading day of 2023, which saw geopolitical turmoil and concerns about oil production levels among major producers around the world.

Brent crude futures were down 11 cents, or 0.14 percent, at $77.04, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 12 cents, or 0.17 percent, at $71.65.

Both contracts fell more than ten percent in 2023, ending the year at its lowest level since 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic undermined demand and led to lower prices.

Brent crude rose 10 percent and West Texas Intermediate rose 7 percent last year, supported by supply concerns after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A Reuters survey of 34 economists and analysts expects Brent crude to average $82.56 a barrel in 2024, down from November's average of $84.43, as they expect global growth to ease demand. Current geopolitical tensions may support prices.

Analysts also questioned the ability of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies (OPEC+) to stick to supply cuts they have pledged to support prices.

OPEC+ is currently cutting production by about six million barrels per day, representing six percent of global supply.

OPEC faces weaker demand for its crude in the first half of next year, with its share of the global market falling to its lowest level since the pandemic due to production cuts and Angola's exit from the group.

Meanwhile, the war in the Middle East in recent months has raised concerns about supply disruptions expected to last until 2024.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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