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Crude oil: How far can it climb?
Dec 22:   A leading research publication has forecast that Brent will climb to an annual average of US$57/b in 2017, from an estimated US$44/b in 2016.
8However, the rally will lose steam in 2018 as the OPEC deal unravels and Chinese consumption softens in line with an abrupt slowdown in industrial production and investment growth. China's slowdown will also have knock-on effects on other economies and weigh on sentiment globally. The forecast is that Brent will average US$61/b in that year.
8It will fail to rise much higher in 2019-20 amid continued output growth from OPEC countries and, in 2019, a recession in the US. Prices will begin to edge up only in 2021, rising to US$64/b.
8Steady demand growth and slower increases in OPEC production will provide support, and the impact of several years of reduced investment will be felt more markedly in higher-cost producers.
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