OPEC Sees Lower Demand in 2013

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today released its monthly report for September. For the month of August, the demand growth forecast for crude oil remained at 900,000 barrels per day, unchanged from the previous two months. The cartel also reiterated its demand growth forecast for 2013:

In 2013, world oil demand is forecast to grow at a slightly lower [800,000 barrels/day] compared to the previous year. Downside risk exists as the economic slowdown in the developed countries could increasingly spill over into the non-OECD.

OPEC crude production in August totaled 31.41 million barrels per day, a jump of 254,000 barrels per day compared with July according to the non-OPEC sources the cartel cites. OPEC now forecasts a non-OPEC supply growth of 700,000 barrels per day for 2012. Non-OPEC supply growth is forecast to grow by 900,000 barrels per day in 2013.

Regarding pricing, which rose in August by 10% for Brent crude and 7% for WTI crude, OPEC noted:

The return of significantly higher speculative activity, constraints inNorth Sea supply, declines in crude oil stockpiles in the US, hopes for further monetary easing from major central banks, and geopolitical factors have all contributed to the increase in crude oil prices. Oil markets were also supported by unexpected positive economic data from the US. Weatherrelated factors pushed prices higher, as Hurricane Isaac threatened oil operations in the US Gulf.

North American crude oil production is expected to grow more than any other non-OPEC region, to a level not seen in more than 40 years. OPEC forecasts North American production in 2012 at 16.43 million barrels per day. The United States is expected to produce 9.74 million barrels per day in 2012, while Canada is forecast to produce 3.78 million barrels per day. Mexico, which OPEC includes in North American production figures, is forecast to total 2.91 million barrels per day in 2012, down 30,000 barrels per day from the July forecast. So far this year, Mexican production is down by 50,000 barrels per day.

The full OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is available here.

Paul Ausick

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