Vienna: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) kept its world oil demand forecast for 2012 stable on Wednesday, despite warning of continued economic uncertainty.
In its monthly report, Opec saw world demand in 2012 at 88.68 million barrels per day (mbpd), almost unchanged from its previous forecast of 88.69 mbpd.
In 2013, demand was to grow to 89.50 mbpd, up 820,000 barrels per day, and compared with the 890,000-bpd hike expected in 2012.
“The sluggish OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) economy is suppressing the region’s oil demand,” the report said regarding 2012.
“US demand is weakening further due to a sluggish economy, the European economic turbulence is suppressing that continent’s demand, and Indian demand is negatively affected by the recent massive floods.” The only exception was Japan, which has increased crude and fuel oil burning to compensate for its closed nuclear plants, the cartel said. This pattern was set to continue into 2013.
“Total world oil demand growth is expected to take place in the non-OECD area, mainly China, India, the Middle East and Latin America,” Opec predicted.
This growth will come mostly from the industrial, transport and petrochemical sectors. Still, an economic slowdown was expected in developed nations and in emerging ones, which rely on exports to OECD, the report said.
“Global economic challenges are causing a great deal of uncertainty for the 2013 oil demand forecast,” it concluded, describing US oil demand as “a wild card”.