Modest increase in oil prices expected in 2019



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Crude oil prices are expected to rise very modestly by 2019, the World Bank warned recently, adding that trade tensions and the abundance of non-energy commodities in the markets are weighing on prices.

"Oil prices are expected to reach $ 74 a barrel in 2019, slightly above the $ 72 average forecast for 2018, while metal prices will remain stable by 2019," the report said. international institution in its October delivery of Commodity Markets Outlook.

World Bank estimates also indicate that "by 2018, energy prices (oil, natural gas and coal) should be 33.3% higher on average than those in 2017." The BM, however, said they should stabilize globally next year.

According to the Bretton Woods institution, robust growth in oil production in the United States and a decline in output in Iran and Venezuela are also expected. As a result, the BM estimated that global demand should remain the same.

On the other hand, under the effect of abundant supply and trade tensions, agricultural commodity prices, including food and raw materials, are expected to fall slightly this year, then rise 1.6%. next year, according to their estimates.

As for the metal price index, the World Bank report predicts it will grow 5.4% this year and weaken slightly next year, pointing out that "prices may fall more than expected if international trade disputes are gaining momentum" .

On international trade disputes and growing trade restrictions among major economies, Shanta Devarajan, senior director of economic development and interim chief economist at the World Bank, fears that they will cause significant economic losses and commercial costs that will be reflected in all global value.

He warns: "Any decline in growth in major economies would have significant negative repercussions for the rest of the world through trade, confidence, financial flows and commodity markets."

In this regard, the WB recalls in its report that "the imposition of general and specific customs duties on goods this year reduced and redirected trade flows, increased price differentials between certain countries and between certain commodities such as soy, steel and aluminum .

More generally, this state of affairs "raised concerns about the slowdown in global trade and growth prospects," according to the institution.

For Ayhan Kose, director of the World Bank's Development Outlook Group, there is no doubt that "the outlook for commodities is highly uncertain due to a number of public policy risks." He refers in particular to the possibility of raising tariffs or new sanctions.

In addition, he believes that "a large number of emerging markets and developing economies depend on raw materials, government revenue sources and export revenues and therefore need to strengthen their policy frameworks and restore their fiscal space."

With regard to this report, it should be noted that it also devotes a special archive to the changing profile of the demand for industrial raw materials – energy and metals – and its consequences for developing countries.

Alain Bouithy

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