Since the release of our Annual International Crude Oil Market Analysis and Forecast Report in January, much has changed.
The United States, led by the Biden Administration, implemented one of the more effective C19 vaccination programs. Europe suffered several stumbles before it's vaccine program got on track. Due to the scarcity of available vaccine doses, particularly of the AstraZeneca version which does not require ultra-cold storage, much of the developing world continues to be mired in the pandemic.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that global growth in 2021 will be 6.0 percent, driven principally by the US, EU, and China. As expected, the global economic rebound is driving demand for crude oil as businesses reopen, employees return to work, and travel accelerates.
With demand rebounding and supply continuing to be constrained, global crude inventories have drawn down to pre-pandemic levels and prices have risen sharply. The direction of the markets for the remainder of this year and into the next will depend largely upon global growth rates once we exit the post-pandemic bounce and the pace at which the world's principal crude producers expand crude production.
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