OPEC cuts forecast for oil demand growth in 2019

The change comes as the US-China trade war continues and economies slow

OPEC, OPEC+, Khalid al-Falih, Donald trump, Xi jinping

In its monthly report, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) revised its oil market outlook for 2019. It cut its forecast by 40,000 barrels per day, down to 1.1mn barrels per day. 

It attributes the change to a wider economic slowdown due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China. 

“While the outlook for market fundamentals seems somewhat bearish for the rest of the year, given softening economic growth, ongoing global trade issues and slowing oil demand growth, it remains critical to closely monitor the supply/demand balance and assist market stability in the months ahead,” OPEC wrote.

Still, it is unclear whether OPEC will deepen cuts; Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih previously said that the current cuts were sufficient. OPEC and its allies (known collectively as OPEC+) agreed in December 2018 to cut total production by 1.2mn barrels per day, the bulk of which has fallen on Saudi Arabia and Russia. That agreement was extended and will apply through 2019 into 2020.

The report also noted a small surplus in 2020. 


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