Trafigura executives expect more upward pressure on global oil prices next year as rising U.S. shale output will not be able to fill a gap in supply once U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil come into force in early November.
The commodity trader’s chief economist Saad Rahim, speaking at the Argus Global Crude Conference in Geneva, forecast 2018 crude oil demand growth at around 1.6 to 1.7 million barrels per day.
Rahim said this growth was not only coming from China and India but also from the United States and surprisingly, Europe.
Brent oil futures hit a four-year high at $86.74 a barrel on Oct. 3 though have since fallen and were at $80.89 a barrel at 1257 GMT on Wednesday.
Other major trading firms have a more bearish view on the price outlook, with Vitol and Gunvor seeing Brent next year at around $65 a barrel and $70-75 a barrel, respectively.