Goldman Sachs cuts 4Q oil forecast by $10/bbl on China ‘speed bump’

Goldman Sachs on Sunday cut its fourth-quarter Brent oil price forecasts by $10 to $100 a barrel, citing factors including a likely hit to consumption from China‘s COVID case spike.

But the investment bank said that the China concerns were “another speed bump on the road higher,” since the major consumer has indicated that this is the beginning of the end for lockdowns. Goldman said it is keeping its 2023 Brent forecast unchanged at $110 a barrel.

“We still believe Russian production will decline about 0.6 million barrels per day from here, with risks of a deeper, more abrupt disruption, still present,” the bank said, warning that inventories could deplete once again in the first half of 2023 if OPEC and its allies maintain current output quotas.

Oil prices dropped to near two-month lows on Monday as supply fears receded while concerns over fuel demand from China and the dollar’s strength took centre stage. Benchmark Brent prices were trading around $87 a barrel.

“While it’s tempting to blame a lack of liquidity for yet another November price capitulation, we believe the market has a right to be anxious about forward fundamentals, even if technical factors may have exacerbated the move lower,” the bank said.

The bank also said a “lack of clarity on the implementation of the G7’s price cap” could be adding to the anxiety in the market.

Goldman had lowered its oil price forecasts for this year and 2023 in September, citing expectations for lower demand growth. It then raised those forecasts in October due to an output cut agreed by OPEC+ producers.

The EU’s energy policy chief told Reuters the EU expected to have its regulations completed in time for the introduction of a G7 plan to cap the price of Russian crude on Dec. 5. (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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