Oil prices rose for a third day on Thursday on expectations for a surge in fuel demand, particularly in the United States and Europe and China, later this year at the same time major producers are maintaining supply discipline.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $69.27 a barrel. Prices earlier rose to as much as $69.32, the most since October 2018, after gaining 1.5% in the previous session.
Oil demand Exceeding Supply
The consensus among market forecasters, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, is that fuel demand will exceed supply in the second half of 2021, which has spurred the recent run in prices.
OPEC+ data shows that by the end of the year fuel demand will be 99.8 million barrels per day (BPD) versus supply of 97.5 million BPD.
“The U.S. driving season is a period that sees higher‑than‑normal fuel consumption. UK traffic is now sitting above pre‑pandemic levels. We continue to see the oil demand recovery led by the U.S., Europe and China.” CBA commodities analyst Vivek Dhar.
OPEC+ agreed on Tuesday to continue with plans to ease supply curbs through July.
The OPEC+ meeting last 20 minutes, the quickest in the grouping’s history, suggesting strong compliance among members and the conviction that demand will recover once the COVID-19 pandemic shows sign of abating.
The European Union envoy coordinating the discussions said he believed a deal would be struck at the next round of talks starting next week, though other diplomats cautioned that difficulties remain.