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IMF将油价预期上调20%

IMF将油价预期上调20%

Colin Barr 2011年04月13日
IMF周一宣布,预计今年全球平均油价将为107美元/桶,明年为108美元/桶。最新预测比上次预测高出了20%。

    

    今年的油价上涨使国际货币基金组织不得不面对能源市场极度紧张的事实。

    国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund)本周一宣布,预计今年全球平均油价将为107美元/桶,明年为108美元/桶。最新预测比上次预测高出了20%,原因是2010年全球石油需求增长超预期,而供应响应滞后。

    即便是在Facebook上,也没有出现过这样的趋势

    国际货币基金组织在最新发布的《全球经济前景》(World Economic Outlook)半年度报告相关章节中指出,去年全球石油需求增长了3.4%。这是自2004年以来最快的增速,比国际货币基金组织2010年初的预期快了一倍。

    与此同时,原油供应“对需求持续增长反应迟缓,主要反映了欧佩克(OPEC)的政策立场,”该组织指出。

    国际货币基金组织认为,当前的高油价若维持现有水平,对全球经济增长应仅有“轻微影响”。但承认经济增长的主要下行风险是如果供应中断,油价上涨可能超预期。

    近几个月,我们已看到过有几次这样的情况了,油价上涨显然超乎该组织的预料。去年秋季国际货币基金组织曾预计今年平均油价将为78美元。在埃及政治动荡引发年初油价大涨后,1月份该组织将预期调高到了89美元。

    但如今,油价在纽约交易中报112美元,在伦敦交易中报126美元,即便中东紧张局势和美国汽油需求已有所缓解。同时,国际货币基金组织警告称,如果供应中断导致油价新一轮上涨,可能摧毁脆弱的全球经济复苏态势。

    为此,国际货币基金组织对全球经济进行了压力测试,分析油价为150美元/桶时可能出现的情况。2008年夏季油价飙升至147美元,被普遍视为是对全球经济活动的一大打击,但很难确切说明打击有多大,因为当时金融系统在同一时间也陷入了危机。

    国际货币基金组织称,如果2011年油价涨到那样的高位,随后一年回落,将导致发达经济体增速放缓0.75个百分点,该组织对发达经济体今年的经济增长率预期是2.5%。对其他地区的影响可能有所不同,亚洲和拉美的经济增速可能放缓,而中东由于石油出口收入增加,经济增长可能加快。

    但这类似于最佳或最差情景。“如果石油供应中断状况持续,全球的产值损失将会大得多,”国际货币基金组织警告称。

    该组织指出了可能导致此类供应中断的一种情况,即世界其他地区可能高估了以沙特阿拉伯为首的欧佩克成员国提高产量、满足全球需求增长的能力。如果欧佩克的闲置产能低于我们的预期,那么任何时候任何一个产油国出现变故,油价飙升的可能性将更大。

    “2010年12月-2011年1月当油价逼近100美元/桶关口时,欧佩克增加了原油产量——这表明欧佩克成员国仍对油价的加速上涨有担忧。”国际货币基金组织写道,“不管怎样,油价上行突破70-80美元区间后欧佩克未做出有力的增产反应,已令市场对欧佩克产油国从不言明的目标价格区间有了些许不确定。”

    事实上,要说市场对于欧佩克的意图有些不确定,可能还说轻了,更别提对其能力的不确定了。

    This year's oil price spike has dragged the IMF kicking and screaming into the world of overstressed energy markets.

    The International Monetary Fund said Monday that it expects the global oil price to average $107 a barrel this year and $108 next. That's 20% above its previous forecast, thanks to stronger-than-expected global petroleum growth in 2010 and a less than enthusiastic supply response.

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    Global oil demand rose 3.4% last year, the IMF said in the latest release of chapters from its semiannual World Economic Outlook report. That's the fastest pace since 2004 and double the rate IMF forecasters projected at the start of 2010.

    Meanwhile, the supply of crude oil "is responding sluggishly to the ongoing pickup in demand, largely reflecting the policy stance of OPEC," the IMF said.

    The IMF said it believes the high prices, if sustained at current levels, should have only a "mild effect" on global economic growth. But it conceded that "the key downside risk to growth relates to the potential for oil prices to surprise further on the upside because of supply disruptions."

    We have seen a few of those in recent months, to the IMF's apparent surprise. The agency predicted last fall that the oil price would average $78 this year. After an early year spike spurred by the political meltdown in Egypt, it raised that forecast to $89 in January.

    But now, oil is trading at $112 in New York and $126 in London, even as Middle East anxiety recedes -- along with U.S. gasoline demand. And the IMF is warning that another supply shock-driven surge in prices could undo a fragile global recovery.

    To that end, the IMF ran a stress test on the global economy to determine how it might deal with oil at $150 a barrel. The summer spike to $147 in 2008 is widely seen as having dealt a blow to economic activity, though it's hard to say for sure how big a hit that was since the financial system was coming undone at the same time.

    The IMF said a surge to that level in 2011, with prices falling back next year, could wipe 0.75 percentage point off its forecast for economic growth in advanced economies, which it currently sees expanding 2.5% this year. The impact would be varied elsewhere, with Asia and Latin America slowing but the Middle East gaining as oil export revenue rose.

    That is sort of a best-case worst-case scenario, however. "Global output losses would be much larger in the event of a permanent shock to oil supply," the IMF warns.

    The IMF hints at one possible source of such a disruption – the prospect that the rest of the world is overestimating the capacity of OPEC nations led by Saudi Arabia to boost production to meet growing global demand. If OPEC's spare production cushion is thinner than we think, prices are going to be much more apt to surge any time we see a flare-up in an oil-producing country.

    "The acceleration in OPEC crude oil production in December 2010 and January 2011 — when oil prices were closing in on the $100 a barrel threshold — suggests that OPEC members remain concerned about accelerated price increases," the IMF writes. "Nevertheless, the absence of an elastic production response when prices moved beyond the $70–$80 range has led to some uncertainty in markets about OPEC producers' implicit price targets."

    To say there's some uncertainty over OPEC's intentions, let alone its capabilities, is something of an understatement.

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