Global crude oil prices remain volatile in 2024 amid geopolitical risks

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jan 2024

Crude oil prices are expected to fluctuate in 2024 as geopolitical tensions and supply factors pull the market in different directions, according to Kamco Invest’s Oil Market Monthly Report released on Wednesday.

File Photo: Oil pumpjacks are seen along a section of Highway 33 known as the Petroleum Highway nort
File Photo: Oil pumpjacks are seen along a section of Highway 33 known as the Petroleum Highway north of McKittrick in Kern County, California on September 28, 2022. AFP


Brent crude will hover around $80 per barrel throughout the year despite ongoing concerns over regional conflicts and attacks on shipping lanes, the report said.

In the first quarter, prices trended higher after cargo ships came under attack in the Red Sea, prompting retaliation from the West.

Attacks on shipping in the Red Sea led to higher insurance costs and longer shipping times as vessels took alternate routes, tightening supply. However, ample global oil supplies and weak Chinese economic growth limited the price increase.

The US continued pumping out record volumes of 13.3 million barrels per day in January, offsetting cuts from OPEC+, while production from Brazil and Guyana exceeded expectations, adding to oversupply concerns.

China's economic recovery remained sluggish despite massive stimulus spending. Fourth quarter GDP growth softened from the prior period, dampening demand prospects.

Other major consumer nations like members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also faced slowing growth.

Meanwhile, African producer Angola announced plans in December to exit OPEC and cease adhering to output quotas, citing disagreements over allocations. This came as OPEC+ moved forward with renewed coordinated reductions heading into 2024.

With geopolitical risks offset by ample supplies, oil ended the year treading water near $80 a barrel. The dual forces of conflict and oversupply will likely ensure wild price swings continue in the volatile commodity market.

Benchmark US crude oil for March delivery fell 39 cents to $74.37 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude for March delivery fell 51 cents to $79.55 per barrel.

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