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IEA Cuts Global Oil Demand Outlook for 2023 as Economy Slows – Bloomberg (video)

  • Agency’s growth forecast reduced by 220,000 barrels a day
  • Market still set for sharp stock draws later in the year
Watch video: IEA Cuts 2023 Global Oil Demand Outlook on Slowing Economies (Bloomberg)

Grant Smith, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 07 13 2023

Global oil demand won’t grow as fast as previously expected this year due to the faltering economies of developed nations, the International Energy Agency said.

World fuel consumption will increase by 2.2 million barrels a day — or about 2% — in 2023, a reduction of about 220,000 barrels from last month’s forecast, the Paris-based agency said in a report on Thursday. Demand nonetheless remains on track to hit record levels later this year, draining inventories substantially in the second half.

“World oil demand is coming under pressure from the challenging economic environment, not least because of the dramatic tightening of monetary policy,” the IEA said. “Demand in the OECD, and Europe in particular, is languishing amid a grinding slowdown in industrial activity.”

Crude futures climbed above $80 a barrel in London on Wednesday for the first time in two months, partly on signs that cooling inflation may help end the cycle of rising interest rates. World oil markets are tightening as Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ partners curb supplies while fuel use continues to recover from the pandemic.

Markets have been fractionally oversupplied this quarter, with inventories at their highest level in almost two years. Supply restraint by the Saudis has been offset by other producers, such as Iran and the US, the IEA said.

Given the weaker demand outlook, markets won’t tighten as sharply in the months ahead as previously thought, according to the agency. Yet the rest of 2023 will still be marked by supply deficits, as global demand increases to an all-time high of 102.1 million barrels a day on average this year. About 70% of the growth in consumption will come from China as it expands petrochemical use. 

Production in the OPEC+ alliance is poised to slump by 1 million barrels a day this month as Saudi Arabia implements a new cutback that depletes its output to a two-year low. Last week the kingdom pledged to prolong that reduction into August, and its ally Russia also promised to pare exports.

For 2024, the IEA boosted world consumption growth estimates by 290,000 barrels a day as a stronger outlook for China stands to bolster gasoil use. Still, at 1.1 million barrels a day the global growth rate for next year is barely half of this year’s level amid improved efficiency and the growing popularity of electric vehicles. 

bloomberg.com 07 13 2023

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