By JLP | June 30, 2008
OPEC’s starting to tick me off. First they say they are ‘unhappy’ about high oil prices. Then, Bloomberg.com reported recently that OPEC’s President is predicting oil to go to $170 per barrel by the end of the year:
OPEC President Chakib Khelil predicted that the price of oil will climb to $170 a barrel before the end of the year, citing the dollar’s decline and political conflicts.
“Oil prices are expected to reach $170 as demand for fuel is growing in the U.S. during the summer period and the dollar continues to weaken against the euro,” Khelil said today in a telephone interview. The leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also serves as Algeria’s oil minister.
I’m skeptical of this assertion because oil is up over 54% so far this year, while the dollar is down about 7.5% against the Euro. Unless I’m not understanding exchange rates, the dollar’s fall can only be attributed to a 7.5% rise in the price of oil. The rest is either due to supply and demand or speculation (though as Meg wrote this morning, that might not be the case). I doubt that the Fed will continue to allow the dollar to fall. I’m also skeptical of Khelil’s claim of rising demand in the U.S. throughout the summer. I bet we’ll see a drop in demand as some people just can’t afford to drive anywhere.
It bugs me when these guys come out and say stuff like this. It almost seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.