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World Bank Revises Down Forecasts for Oil Prices, Other Key Commodities

“In its latest commodity update, the World Bank is lowering its 2015 forecast for crude oil prices from $57 per barrel in its July report to $52 per barrel. The revised forecast reflects a further slowing in global economic performance, high current oil inventories, and expectations that Iranian oil exports will rise after the lifting of international sanctions, according to the Bank’s new Commodity Markets Outlook, a quarterly update on the state of the international commodity markets. The Bank’s Energy Price Index tumbled 17 percent in the third quarter of 2015 from the previous three-month period, led by a renewed plunge in oil prices prompted by expectations of slower global growth, particularly in China and other emerging markets, abundant supplies, and prospects of higher Iranian exports next year. Energy prices are expected to average 43 percent lower in 2015 than in 2014. For commodities excluding energy, the World Bank reports a 5 percent decline in prices in Q3, and forecasts that non-energy prices will register a 14 percent decline in 2015 from the previous year’s levels.

“We see a five-year-long slide in most commodity prices continuing in the third quarter of 2015. There are sufficient inventories of oil and other commodities and demand is weak, especially for industrial commodities, which is why prices may stay persistently low,” said John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of Commodity Markets Outlook.”

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