Forecast: OPEC Expects Oil Demand to Eclipse Supply in 2023

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Demand for oil produced by 13-member Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to rise by almost a million barrels per day in 2023.

OPEC Monthly Outlook released on Tuesday said global oil demand will continue to grow next year, indicating more pressure on an already tight market, with OPEC producers required to pump almost a million barrels more per day in 2023.

According to the report, it is estimated that demand for produced by the 13-member OPEC members will rise by 900,000 bpd on an annual basis to 30.1 million bpd, the organisation said in the monthly outlook report.

Overall demand growth in 2023 is expected to reach 2.7 million bpd to average 103 million bpd, with the demand in countries rising by 600,000 bpd and non-OECD growth forecast at 2.1 million bpd.

A solid economic performance in major consuming countries, as well as improved geopolitical developments and the containment of in China, will support oil demand in 2023, the bloc said.

“Nevertheless, uncertainty to the forecast remain to the downside, with much depending on the course of the pandemic and related measures, global financial tightening in the light of growing inflation and the resolution of the ongoing geopolitical issues in Eastern Europe,” the OPEC report said.

OPEC maintains 2022 demand outlook but says Ukraine conflict and pandemic pose a risk. Brent, the global benchmark for two thirds of the world’s oil, dropped 6.59% to $100.04 a at 6.20pm UAE time.

West Texas Intermediate, the gauge that tracks US crude, slumped 6.82% to $96.99 a barrel. “Oil is falling quite heavily today … [as] recession fears are strengthening the bearish case for and we’re seeing those materialise after previously reaching very high levels,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, UK and Europe, and Africa at Oanda.

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“The market remains extremely tight and the Opec report today highlighted that fact, with demand next year seen exceeding supply by a million barrels per day. That should limit the downside we see as a worsening growth outlook is priced in.”

A researcher with The National, Sarmad Khan, said world oil demand is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022, but the Russia-Ukraine war, pandemic-related developments and inflationary pressures are posing headwinds.

He stated that economic uncertainty is mounting with growing fears of a global recession, as higher commodity prices and supply chain disruptions feed into spiraling inflation.

In April, the International Monetary Fund lowered its 2022 growth forecast to 3.6% from its previous estimate of 4.4% in January.

The World Bank also slashed its growth forecast for the global economy, lowering it to 2.9% from its previous 3.2% projection. The latest forecast is significantly lower than the January estimate of 4.1% and a deceleration from the 5.7% expansion recorded in 2021.

Last Tuesday, OPEC forecasted that the global economy will expand 3.5% and 3.2% next year.

“This assumes that the ramifications of the pandemic, geopolitical developments in Eastern Europe and global financial tightening amid rising inflation do not negatively impact the 2023 growth dynamic to a major degree,” the oil producers’ bloc said.

The 2023 demand projection by OPEC is slightly higher than that of the International Energy Agency’s estimates of 101.6 million bpd. The Paris-based agency expects global oil supply to “struggle” to keep pace with surging demand next year, suggesting consumers will continue to face tough oil markets in coming months.

Further in the forecast, OPEC said a growing Chinese economy will drive up demand in 2023, as tighter sanctions imposed on Russia over its military offensive in Ukraine force the country to shut more wells and as a number of producers bump up against capacity constraints, the agency said in its June report.

OPEC has kept its 2022 oil demand growth projection unchanged from the previous month’s assessment at 3.4 million bpd. Oil demand in countries is estimated to increase by 1.8 million bpd, while in non-OECD areas, it is estimated to expand by 1.6 million bpd, with total oil demand averaging 100.3 million bpd.


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