Amid improving market sentiment and a weakening dollar, the World Bank is raising its 2016 forecast for crude oil prices to $41 per barrel from $37 per barrel in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, as an oversupply in markets is expected to recede.
The crude oil market rebounded from a low of $25 per barrel in mid-January to $40 per barrel in April following production disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria and a decline in non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries production, mainly U.S. shale. A proposed production freeze by major producers failed to materialize at a meeting in mid-April.
"We expect slightly higher prices for energy commodities over the course of the year as markets rebalance after a period of oversupply," said John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodities Markets Outlook. "Still, energy prices could fall further if OPEC increases production significantly and non-OPEC production does not fall as fast as expected." All main commodity indexes tracked by the World Bank are expected to decline in 2016 from the year before due to persistently elevated supplies, and in the case of industrial commodities – which include energy, metals, and agricultural raw materials - weak growth prospects in emerging market and developing economies.
Energy prices, including oil, natural gas and coal, are due to fall 19.3 percent in 2016 from the previous year, a more gradual drop than the 24.7 percent slide forecast in January.