Key points

  • The longer-term bearish outlook for global crude markets remains intact despite escalating conflict within the Middle East. The war will keep markets volatile for as long as it persists but will not be enough to offset market fundamentals that continue to point to growing oversupply.
  • While OPEC+ continues with its supply cuts and export restrictions to try and keep prices supported, non-OPEC supply is growing, and global economies are weakening under the pressure of the aggressive interest rate hiking cycles implemented up until Q3 of 2023.
  • The market has already turned less bullish, and signs are emerging that this trend could persist through early 2024, with futures curves for benchmark crude contracts in contango, and speculators at their least bullish since June/July.



Although the ongoing war in the Middle East and other geopolitical developments persist, the bearish outlook for global crude markets remains, given rising non-OPEC supply and weakening demand from the world’s major economies.