(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley raised its oil price forecast for the first quarter of 2023, and predicted tight supply going forward due to a steep output cut agreed by OPEC+ producers coupled with an EU embargo on Russian production.
OPEC+, which groups members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, agreed to cut their output target by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) at a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday after spending most of the last two years adding back production slashed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
"We now see the oil market in a 0.9 million bpd deficit in 2023, up from 0.2 million bpd before. Those forecasts assume that Russia's oil production will fall by 1-1.5 million bpd after the EU oil import embargo comes into force," Morgan Stanley said in note dated Wednesday.
Morgan Stanley raised its first-quarter 2023 Brent price forecast to $100 per barrel from $95 per barrel, noting: "Brent will find its way to $100 per barrel quicker than we estimated before."
Benchmark Brent crude was trading around $93.29 per barrel as of 0656 GMT, after gaining 1.7% on Wednesday. [O/R]
Meanwhile, the announced cut from OPEC+ dramatically changes the oil balance for the remainder of 2022 and the whole of 2023, Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING, said in a note.
Removing around 1.1 million bpd of supply means the oil market is more balanced over the fourth quarter of 2022 and in large deficit over the whole of 2023, Patterson said.
"This latest action from OPEC+ suggests that there is upside to our current full-year 2023 forecast of $97 per barrel."
Citi Research on Wednesday said the final market impact of the OPEC+ production target cut would depend on the agreement duration, and expects major consumers to "react with displeasure" to the deal.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)