Energy Commodities Price Outlook Economic Forecast

Energy Commodities Price Outlook

Plunging oil prices send energy prices down in May

June 11, 2019

In May, energy prices fell 3.0% month-on-month, contrasting April’s 7.3% rise, which had represented the largest expansion since January 2018.

A sharp drop in oil prices and its derivatives, especially WTI and gasoline, led the overall decline in energy prices. The drop reflected escalating trade tensions globally, which could exert additional downward pressure on an already weakening global economy. Moreover, natural gas prices hit a nearly three -year low on high inventories and strong production. Although thermal coal prices posted the first monthly gain in 11 months in May, prices plummeted in the first days of June, suggesting that downward pressures on thermal coal prices are far from over.

Our panelists see energy prices falling 0.3% in Q4 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 (previously reported: -0.4% year-on-year). The decline will be mostly led by much lower prices for thermal and coking coal due to a broader preference for cleaner energy, as well as a sizeable drop in natural gas prices on a considerable base effect from last year. Conversely, Brent and WTI oil prices will increase in annual terms in Q4 2019. Our panel of analysts expects energy prices to fall again in annual terms in Q4 2020, declining 3.2%, reflecting the downward trend in coal prices as well as an uncertain outlook for oil prices.

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Energy Commodities Historical Price Data

2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  
Brent Crude Oil118.69  98.9  52.42  43.83  54.26  
WTI Crude Oil97.97  93.02  48.68  43.28  50.84  
Gasoline2.92  2.66  1.94  1.44  1.72  
Natural Gas3.76  4.26  2.63  2.55  3.02  
Thermal Coal85.38  70.95  58.88  65.69  88.19  
Coking Coal 147.71  114.66  88.38  142.7  188.92  
Uranium38.66  33.44  36.81  26.45  22.06  
Gasoil918.88  837.79  488.16  390.61  482.81  

Note:
Brent Crude Oil prices in USD per barrel (bbl).
WTI Crude Oil prices in USD per barrel (bbl).
Gasoline prices in USD per gallon (gal).
Natural Gas prices in USD per Million of British Thermal Units (MMBtu).
Thermal Coal prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Coking Coal prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
Uranium prices in USD per pound (lb).
Gasoil prices in USD per metric ton (mt).
All prices are average of period (aop).

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