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IEA – Oil demand to register modest growth only in 2018

June 2017

June 14, 2017 | 15:00 | Dubai

Key highlights from the Oil Market Report, International Energy Agency

  • Recent weaknesses in demand growth are likely to prove transitory,particularly in post currency-reform India. Although global growth was only 0.9 mb/d in 1Q17, it accelerates in 2H17 and for the year as a whole our outlook remains unchanged at 1.3 mb/d. In 2018, growth increases modestly to 1.4 mb/d as demand reaches a record 99.3 mb/d.
  • Global oil supply rose by 585 kb/d in May to 96.69 mb/d as both OPEC and non-OPEC countries produced more.Output stood 1.25 mb/d above a year ago, the highest annual increase since February 2016. Gains were dominated by non-OPEC, particularly the US.
  • OPEC crude output rose by 290 kb/d in May to 32.08 mb/d, the highest level so far this year, after comebacks in Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt from supply cuts.Output from members bound by the production deal edged lower, which kept year-to-date compliance strong at 96%.
  • OECD commercial stocks rose in April by 18.6 mb (620 kb/d) on higher refinery output and imports.They stand 292 mb above the five-year average and are higher than when OPEC decided to cut output. For May, preliminary data suggests stocks falling in Fujairah, Japan, Europe, Singapore and in vessels offshore, but rising in the US and China.
  • Benchmark crude oil prices fell after 23 May, reflecting lower expectations about the pace of global market rebalancing.At publication time, crude prices are close to the levels when the OPEC output deal was announced. Fuel oil prices and cracks were boosted as stocks fell to their lowest level in two years due to tight supplies of sour crudes. Gasoline and naphtha prices fell.
  • Record high US refinery throughput in April and May led to upward revisions to our 2Q17 and 3Q17 forecasts.Global refinery intake is projected to reach 80 mb/d in 2Q17 and 81.3 mb/d in 3Q17, up by about 1.1 mb/d y-o-y in each quarter. In 3Q17, throughput growth is driven by the US and China in the East.

In the report, IEA publishes its first look at what 2018 might have in store. This is timely in view of the recent extension until March of the output cuts. However, such is the volatile nature of the market today, with recent tensions in the Gulf adding to the mix, 2018 seems a long way away. Immediate concerns about stubbornly high stocks due to rising global production are pressuring oil prices, which have fallen to levels not seen since the OPEC ministerial meeting at the end of November.

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