IEA: Global oil demand revised upward on stronger data

Global oil demand in 2013 rose by 1.3 million b/d year-over-year to 91.3 million b/d, according to the latest, near-complete set of demand data for the year, the International Energy Agency said in its most recent monthly Oil Market Report. This estimate is 45,000 b/d above last month’s estimate, as December demand exceeded expectations.

Global oil consumption is set to rise by 1.4 million b/d (+1.5%) in 2014 to 92.7 million b/d, 90,000 b/d higher than the agency’s previous report, with all of the growth coming from countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, the gain of non-OECD demand reflects a slower growth rate than seen in recent years.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook updated in January forecasts growth of 3.7% this year, rising to 3.9% in 2015, compared with 3% seen in 2013.

IEA said US demand growth continues to show signs of strengthening. The December demand data has been revised downward by 115,000 b/d since last month’s report, based on the latest official monthly data. Despite the downward revision, US demand jumped by a steep 950,000 b/d (+5.2%) in December year-over-year.

The forecast for Chinese growth has been modestly curtailed, due to a reduced first-quarter 2014 estimate. The estimate for January has been adjusted downward by 80,000 b/d to 10 million b/d, reflecting stronger-than-expected product stock builds.

OECD countries’ January demand declined after rising in both November and December, due to unseasonably warm weather outside of the Americas, and the continued frailness of the OECD economic momentum, IEA said.

Oil supply

Global oil supply increased by 600,000 b/d to average 92.89 million b/d in February, up 2.03 million b/d from a year earlier, thanks to a significant rise in crude production in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Higher supplies from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria lifted OPEC production by 500,000 b/d to 30.49 million b/d, according to IEA.

“Iraqi crude oil production in February surged to the highest level in 35 years, up around 15% over January levels, to 3.62 million b/d. After a protracted delay, one of the major bottlenecks at Iraq’s southern export terminals was removed, allowing shipments to rise more than half a million b/d,” IEA said.

IEA’s “call on OPEC crude and stock change” was lowered by 100,000 b/d to 28.9 million b/d for this year’s first quarter but was raised by 250,000 b/d to 30.2 million b/d for the second quarter on higher forecast demand and reduced OPEC NGL.

Meanwhile, the agency’s figures show that non-OPEC supply has increased by 100,000 b/d to 55.9 million b/d in February from a month earlier, led by higher output in North America. As adverse weather hampered production in the US Midcontinent and Texas, growth in North American supplies was somewhat lower than recent average, EIA said.

Non-OPEC supplies are expected to grow by 1.7 million b/d year-over-year to 56.45 million b/d in 2014, relatively unchanged from last month’s estimate. Relentless growth in US and Canadian supplies will lead the increase. Production is also forecast to grow in Russia, China, and Brazil.

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