The International Energy Agency on Nov. 14 raised its estimates for oil demand and supply growth in 2023 by 100,000 b/d and 200,000 b/d respectively, citing Chinese demand on the one hand and "outperforming" production in the US and Brazil on the other.
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In its monthly oil market report, the IEA said China's oil demand had reached an all-time high above 17 million b/d in September as the country's petrochemical sector booms, offsetting declining petchem production in OECD economies of the Asia-Pacific.
Global oil demand is now projected to rise by 2.4 million b/d in 2023 to 102 million b/d, but growth will decelerate to 930,000 b/d in 2024, the IEA said.
Demand growth in 2024 "is heavily concentrated in a narrow set of non-OECD countries, led by China (up 1.8 million b/d). The impact of sustained macroeconomic headwinds will become increasingly apparent next year as the massive offsets seen in 2023 fall aside," the IEA said, with "offsets" a reference to pandemic recovery effects.
The IEA estimated global supply will grow by 1.7 million b/d this year to 101.8 million b/d, compared with a growth projection of 1.5 million b/d in its previous report, although it trimmed its 2024 supply growth estimate by 100,000 b/d to 1.6 million b/d.
For the first quarter of 2024 the oil market appears "more or less in surplus." However, the OPEC+ group is set to produce 900,000 b/d less than the demand for its crude in the fourth quarter of 2023, the IEA said.
"With demand growth set to slow, the market could shift into surplus at the start of 2024. For now, with demand still exceeding available supplies heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter, market balances will remain vulnerable to heightened economic and geopolitical risks -- and further volatility ahead," the IEA said.
"There has been no material impact on oil supply flows from the war between Israel and Hamas that started in early October... Fears that the war between Israel and Hamas would escalate into a wider regional conflict, disrupting oil supply flows, have yet to materialise."
The IEA's upward demand revision follows a report from OPEC published a day earlier that asserted that fears over demand weakness were overblown, and slightly revised upward OPEC's own demand growth projection for 2023 to 2.46 million b/d.
Anaysts at S&P Global Commodity Insights forecast oil demand growth of 2.0 million b/d in 2023, and 1.6 million b/d in 2024.
On Asia-Pacific demand, the IEA said the resurgence in aviation stemming from the post-coronavirus recovery, particularly in China, was helping to support oil demand in the region's OECD countries.
However, demand in the OECD Asia-Pacific in the third quarter dropped by 100,000 b/d year on year, led by Japan and South Korea, with some offset from increased Australian consumption, the IEA said.
Falling naphtha consumption in Japan and South Korea, particularly the latter, "emphasises the impact of heavily oversupplied global polymer markets," the IEA said.