OPEC still sees strengthening oil demand in emerging markets, plans supply hike

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By Mahtab Ahmad

OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has maintained its forecast that oil demand worldwide is strengthening for the second half of the year, due to which, supply would be hiked, Bloomberg reported.


World oil consumption will see a year-on-year increase of 2.3 million barrels a day in the second half, about 150,000 a day more than during the first, due to continued economic growth in China and other emerging economies, OPEC said in a monthly report.

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Led by Saudi Arabia, OPEC and its partners unveiled a plan earlier this month to start gradually restoring roughly 2 million barrels a day of previously shuttered production from October, according to Bloomberg.

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Prices initially slumped on the decision, but recouped, as the organisation stressed that the hike could be postponed or called off.

Crude prices are trading nearly $81 (Rs.6,771) a barrel in London, down about 12% from a peak reached in April, as OPEC’s supply restraints struggle to counter a flood of new oil from the Americas, according to Bloomberg.

OPEC’s data indicate that the group and its allies should easily be able to manage the supply restart without destabilizing global markets or causing inventories to pile up. It projects that the full 22-nation OPEC alliance will need to provide 43.6 million barrels a day in the third quarter, or about 2.7 million a day more than it pumped last month.

But estimates from the organization’s Vienna-based secretariat are based on an assessment of demand that’s far stronger than most other forecasters.

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OPEC forecasts that world consumption will swell by 2.2 million barrels a day this year is almost 50% higher than the rate anticipated by Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company.

For the first quarter, OPEC estimates that global oil consumption soared by 2.3 million barrels a day, more than double the increase observed by the International Energy Agency, an adviser to major economies in Paris.

OPEC’s forecasts have proved excessively bullish in the past. Last year, the group’s data pointed to a record inventory crunch of more than 3 million barrels a day in the the fourth quarter. Instead, crude prices slumped 19% and the alliance was compelled to announce deeper production cutbacks to shore up the market, according to the report.

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