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OPEC lowers forecast for global oil demand growth

By Lawrence Gash

Global demand for oil is slowing but price is gaining on US-China trade deal hopes

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has lowered its forecast for global oil demand growth, admitting in its annual World Oil Outlook that the past year had been “challenging” for energy markets.

Despite this, oil prices have risen thanks to positive steps towards a limited US-China trade deal and thus a possible reduction in tariffs.

Brent Crude Oil Futures is up 1.16 per cent in mid-afternoon trading GMT, standing at $62.85/barrel. WTI Crude Oil Futures is likewise up at $57.19/barrel, a gain of 1.15 per cent.

OPEC, whose secretary general is Mohammed Barkindo (pictured), stated: “Signs of stress have appeared in the global economy, and the outlook for global growth, at least in the short- and medium-term, has been revised down repeatedly over the past year.”

Consequently it reduced its outlook to 104.8 million barrels per day by 2024 and 110.6 million barrels per day by 2040. In the short term it stated that global “growth is forecast to slow from a level of 1.4 million b/d in 2018 to around 0.5 million b/d towards the end of the next decade.”

An organisation comprising fourteen oil producing nations ranging from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Venezuela and Nigeria, OPEC collaborates to coordinate oil production in an effort to affect the global price of oil.

The group expects its own production of crude oil and other liquids to decline in the next five years, falling to 32.8 million barrels a day in 2024 from its current 35 million.

While other non-OPEC nations, such as USA, Brazil and Kazakhstan, are marginally increasing their oil production, global demand is slowing. OPEC attributed this decline to “the poorer economic climate.”

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