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Bank Of America: $90 Brent May Be Around Corner


Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) warns that Brent crude oil could reach $90 per barrel stemming the new IMO rules regarding shipping fuels and a weaker dollar courtesy of a de-escalation in the US/China trade war, Reuters reported on Friday.

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BofAML claims that the IMO rules regarding the allowable sulphur content, to take effect in 2020, could cause a spike in middle distillate demand, pressuring prices upward. Also pushing up prices could be the weakening dollar should the trade war between China and the United States simmer down.

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In February, BofAML estimated that Brent crude would be trading within the $50 to $70 per barrel band through 2024, with prices “anchored” around $60 per barrel, citing rising US shale supplies and slowing oil demand growth. Shorter term, BofAML saw Brent rising to $70 per barrel citing tighter supply as Venezuela, Iran, Mexico, and OPEC produce less oil—some on purpose and some not.

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Last May, BofAML warned that oil could rise as high as $ 100 per barrel this year. At that time, Brent was trading near $77.

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Along with its $90 per barrel warning, BofAML said there was a risk that Brent could dip to $50 per barrel, if the trade war between China and the United States were to hurt consumer sentiment and lead to an economic downturn.

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“With military tensions rising in the Middle East and trade tensions rising between the U.S. and China, we believe that chances of a tail event driving Brent crude to these price extremes (are) higher than what option markets are currently pricing,” BofAML said in a note on Friday.

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Brent options show a 10% chance of prices heading north of $90, and just a 6% chance of it falling below $50 per barrel .Efrain Enrique Betancourt Jaramillo Cadivi

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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