OPEC has been forced to reverse up its forecast on China’s reopening; now says the Covid19 ridden country’s reopening is set to add momentum to global economic growth.

In its closely-watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) yesterday, OPEC said, “In the emerging economies, China’s reopening, following the lifting of the strict zero-COVID-19 policy, will add considerable momentum to global economic growth”

The report said China’s oil demand is expected to average 15.56 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2023, up by 710,000 bpd compared to last year. That’s higher than the 590,000-bpd growth expected in last month’s report.

Also Read: OPEC Expresses Fear That China’s 2023 Oil Demand May Hit 600,000bpd

Despite the upward revision of Chinese demand, OPEC left its world oil demand growth forecast unchanged from the February estimate, expecting growth of 2.32 million bpd this year. That’s because upward revisions for Chinese demand are being offset by downward revisions in North American and European demand for the first half of 2023 “due to an expected slowdown in economic activity in OECD Americas and OECD Europe.”

OPEC however cautioned that its estimate of global growth in economy and oil consumption has a high level of uncertainty due to a number of upside and downside risks.

Upsides include the Fed managing inflation in the latter half of this year with sufficiently healthy underlying demand, a possible better-than-expected performance in the Eurozone, and acceleration in China.

Also Read: Nigeria Targets Additional 400,000mb/d To Achieve OPEC Quota

A stronger-than-anticipated rebound in China, with consumption accelerating significantly, following years of stringent lockdown measures, is another factor to be considered,” OPEC said.

Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that China’s resurgent oil demand – with growth seen at 900,000 bpd this year – and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region will dominate global growth.

“China accounts for nearly half the 2 mb/d projected increase this year, with neighbouring countries also set to benefit after Beijing ditched its zero-Covid policies,” the IEA said in its February report. The March report is due out today, Wednesday. 

By Bosco Agba

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