In the course of improving market sentiment and a weakening dollar, the World Bank is raising its 2016 forecast for crude oil prices to $41 per barrel from $37 per barrel in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, as an oversupply in markets is expected to recede.
The crude oil market rebounded from a low of $25 per barrel in mid-January to $40 per barrel in April following production disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria and a decline in non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries production, mainly U.S. shale. A proposed production freeze by major producers failed to materialize at a meeting in mid-April.
“We expect slightly higher prices for energy commodities over the course of the year as markets rebalance after a period of oversupply,” said John Baffes, senior economist and lead author of the Commodities Markets Outlook. “Still, energy prices could fall further if OPEC increases production significantly and non-OPEC production does not fall as fast as expected.”
All main commodity indexes tracked by the World Bank are expected to decline in 2016 from the year before, due to persistently elevated supplies, and in the case of industrial commodities – which include energy, metals, and agricultural raw materials – weak growth prospects in emerging market and developing economies.
With oil and metals prices today 50 percent to 70 percent lower than their early 2011 peaks, natural resource development projects have already been put on hold or delayed in several emerging and developing countries. Non-energy commodities, such as metals and minerals, agriculture, and fertilisers are expected to decline 5.1 per cent this year, a downward revision from the 3.7 per cent drop forecast in January.
Also, the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank, Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, has said that the Bank would support very strongly the Nigerian government to accelerate its goals, thereby creating jobs for its citizenry.
Indrawati, who is responsible for the World Bank’s operations worldwide, noted that the bank was also paying very close attention to the war-torn North-eastern section of the country.
She disclosed this on her arrival in the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, at 13.09hrs GMT.
The World Bank official, who also was in Cameroun on April 24, flew into the country from the Younde Nsimalen International Airport via Asky Airlines.
Indrawati, while speaking with the press briefly, said: “This is my first visit here in Nigeria. And as you know, the World Bank is supporting very strongly the Nigerian Government in trying to accelerate goals, in restoring goals in order to create jobs.”
According to her, “We are also paying very close attention to the North-east area, the development there so that we can address the issue of insurgency and conflicts. We will discuss with the government and I will give you the statement when we finish.”
After her arrival, she went into a closed door meeting with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and promised to issue a statement on her visit after her meeting with President