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OPEC hikes oil demand growth outlook for 2020, lowers forecast for 2019

OPEC slightly lowered its forecast of global demand growth for oil for 2019 but raised its outlook for 2020, reflecting an improved economic outlook.

In its latest monthly report released Jan. 15, the organization said it expects world demand growth for oil to climb to 1.22 million barrels per day in 2020, an increase of 140,000 bbl/d from its December 2019 assessment. Total oil consumption should rise to 100.98 million bbl/d in 2020.

For 2019, OPEC anticipates that global crude oil consumption grew by 930,000 bbl/d to an average of 99.77 million bbl/d, a decrease of 50,000 bbl/d from its previous forecast.

According to secondary sources used to track member output, in December 2019, OPEC crude oil production declined by 161,000 bbl/d on the month to an average of 29.44 million bbl/d.

OPEC revised down the demand for its crude oil this year by 100,000 bbl/d on the month to 29.5 million bbl/d. The call on OPEC crude in 2019 also was lowered by 100,000 bbl/d to 30.6 million bbl/d, which is about 1.0 million bbl/d lower than the 2018 level, OPEC said.

OPEC+ — a coalition of OPEC members and other major oil producers, including Russia — agreed in December 2019 to add another 500,000 bbl/d to the 1.2 million-bbl/d cut agreed to in December 2018 and extended in July 2019. The 1.7 million-bbl/d cut went into effect at the start of 2020 and will continue through March 31. OPEC+ members are expected to address a possible extension of the cuts when the group meets again in early March.

Meanwhile, the forecast for non-OPEC oil supply growth for this year was increased to 2.35 million bbl/d for an average of 66.68 million bbl/d.

"Upward revisions in Norway, Mexico and Guyana are partially offset by downward revisions to the supply forecasts of the U.S., Russia and other OECD Europe. The U.S., Brazil, Canada and Australia are the key drivers for growth in 2019, and continue to lead growth in 2020, with the addition of Norway and Guyana," OPEC said.

The forecast for world non-OPEC supply growth for 2019 was also increased from OPEC's prior monthly forecast by 40,000 bbl/d and is now pegged at 1.86 million bbl/d to average 64.34 million bbl/d.