* Forecasts downgraded after sharp falls in spot prices
* Brent seen averaging $107.60 in 2013 vs $111.70 in 2012
* WTI average seen at $94.60 vs $94.15 in 2012
* WTI seen outperforming Brent
* For a table of forecasts, see
April 30 (Reuters) - Brent crude will be hover around $100 a
barrel for the next two years, a Reuters poll showed after
analysts slashed their forecasts for the oil price to reflect
ample supply and sluggish economic growth.
Brent crude oil will average $107.60 per barrel this
year, Reuters monthly oil price survey for April predicted on
Tuesday, down from $110.80 in last month's poll and below last
year's average price of $111.70.
Slower-than-expected growth data from the United States and
China, the world's biggest oil consumers, in the past month has
tempered the outlook for oil demand while global output has kept
rising, especially from U.S. shale oil projects.
Brent has lost more than 6 percent since the start of April
and has averaged close to $110.40 so far in 2013.
The poll forecasts the downtrend in prices will continue
next year, with Brent averaging $106.60 in 2014 before
recovering only very slightly to $106.70 in 2015.
Reuters surveyed 27 oil analysts at banks, brokerages and
consultancies. Of the 25 analysts polled in both March and
April, 17 reduced their forecasts.
"The ongoing rise in oil production, combined with the weak
economic recovery will keep the lid on oil prices," ABN Amro
energy economist Hans van Cleef said.
"Overall, I think weak demand and ample supply will, in the
end, result in lower average oil prices in 2013 (compared to
2012) and this trend will continue in 2014 and 2015," he said.
U.S. light crude oil, also known as West Texas
Intermediate or WTI, should outperform European benchmark Brent
after having underperformed it in the past years.
The poll forecast WTI would average $94.60 a barrel in 2013,
down from $95.70 in last month's poll but slightly above the
2012 average of $94.15.
That will help narrow the gap between WTI and Brent on the
back of rising U.S. demand and improving U.S. pipeline
infrastructure, which will help deliver oil to refining hubs
Weak economic activity would weigh on demand in Europe. In
the United States, economic growth should be faster than in
Europe although first-quarter economic growth was not as strong
as expected, Chris Tevere, analyst at GAIN Capital, said.
He expects U.S. crude oil futures to average $92 a barrel in
2013 and $96 in 2014.
Brent touched a 2013 low of $96.75 on April 18 but analysts
said it should recover back above $100 a barrel by the third
"While we do not rule out further weakness in the near term,
we do not see prices acclimatising below the $100 per barrel
mark past Q2," Barclays analyst Miswin Mahesh said.
"Progressing through the tail end of Q2 and into the second
half of 2013, we see strong indications for demand growth
developing which will keep the call on crude elevated."
Two analysts forecast Brent prices would average below $100
in 2013 compared with one in the previous month's poll.
"The recent weakness supports our view that oil prices have
been unsustainably high, given the fragility of the global
economic recovery," said Julian Jessop, analyst at Capital
"Over the next few years we continue to expect $100 to
become a ceiling for Brent, rather than the floor that many
others assume," said Jessop, who forecast Brent at $98 a barrel
for 2013 and $90 in 2014.
Thirteen analysts forecast Brent would average more than
$108.40 in 2013, the median of the forecasts, compared with 19
in last month's poll.
Raiffeisen Bank International had the highest forecast for
Brent in the poll at $114.30 for 2013, while Citigroup had the
lowest at $90 a barrel.
(Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by
Christopher Johnson and Susan Fenton)