Both OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have trimmed their demand expectations in the latest monthly forecasts. In its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), published on 10 April, OPEC revises 2013 global demand growth downwards by 40,000 b/d to 800,000 b/d. The IEA’s Oil Market Report of 11 April keeps its 2013 demand growth figure “little changed” at 795,000 b/d, but revises global oil demand downwards by 45,000 b/d to 90.6mn b/d. OPEC notes that “monthly data that is starting to emerge for 1Q13 suggests that OECD demand may be disappointing compared with our previous assessment.” In the IEA’s view “a weak macroeconomic environment is expected to keep demand growth relatively subdued for the remainder of the year.”

The two organizations’ market overviews for the year are pessimistic. OPEC says that, “looking ahead, the ongoing challenges to the world economic recovery, especially in Europe, present considerable uncertainties for product demand.” The IEA says that demand has been exceptionally weak in the OECD and Europe in particular, where consumption in 2013 is expected to be the lowest since the 1980s. “There are clouds on the horizon,” the IEA warns. “Recent softness in crude prices likely had as much to do with record spring maintenance at refineries as with anything else. Close to 7mn b/d of refining capacity may be offline this month. But US refiners are already getting back online, and global crude runs will likely increase steeply starting next month.” (CONTINUED - 787 WORDS)