OPEC revises world oil demand downward in new monthly report

Oct. 10 (UPI) — OPEC downgraded its 2019 world oil demand growth to 980,000 barrels of oil per day in a closely watched monthly report the organization released Thursday.

The total is 40,000 barrels per day less than it previously projected, based on data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Americas and the Asia Pacific, the report said.

China, the world’s largest oil importer and globe’s second-largest economy, has been in a trade war with the United States for more than a year with no end in sight.

“The non-OPEC oil supply growth forecast for 2019 was revised down by 0.16 (million barrels per day) from the previous assessment to a level of 1.82 mb/d. This is due to downward revisions mainly in the U.S., as well as in Norway and (Britain), which outpaced upward revisions in Kazakhstan and China, among others,” the report said. “U.S. oil supply growth has now been revised down to 1.67 mb/d (year-to-year).”

The report blamed “rising U.S. tariffs” on European imports and the U.S.-China trade war with “dampening growth momentum.”

“U.S. growth was revised down by 0.1 to 1.8 percent for 2020, while Euro-zone growth remains at 1.1 percent and Japan at 0.3 percent,” the report said. “China’s and India’s growth forecast for next year is also unchanged at 5.9 percent, and 6.7 percent, respectively.”

OPEC and its allies have tried to stabilize oil prices by slashing output by 1.2 million barrels per day at the start of this year. It plans to continue the cuts through March 2020.

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