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Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll

Oil prices will stage a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people and speed an economic revival, with further impetus coming from stimulus and output discipline by top crude producers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. The survey of 55 participants forecast Brent crude would average $59.07 per barrel in 2021, up from last month’s $54.47 forecast. Brent has averaged around $58.80 so far this year.

Of the 41 respondents who participated in both the February and January polls, 32 raised their forecasts. Most analysts said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) may ease current output curbs when they meet on March 4, but would still agree to maintain supply discipline. Oil demand was seen growing by 5-7 million barrels per day in 2021, as per the poll.

However, experts said any deterioration in the COVID-19 situation and the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran could hold back oil’s recovery. The poll forecast U.S. crude to average $55.93 per barrel in 2021 versus January’s $51.42 consensus. Analysts expect U.S. production to rise moderately this year, although new measures from U.S. President Joe Biden to tame the oil sector could curb output in the long run.

Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll, Reuters, Feb 26

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