OPEC on Thursday cut its world oil demand forecast for the last quarter of 2021 as high energy prices curb the recovery from Covid-19, delaying the timeline for a return to pre-pandemic levels of oil useuntil later in 2022.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a monthly report also raised its supply forecast from US shale producers next year, a potential headwind to the efforts of the group and its allies, known as OPEC+, to balance the market.
OPEC said it expects oil demand to average 99.49 million barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter of 2021, down 330,000 bpd from last month’s forecast.
The year’s demand growth forecast was trimmed by 160,000 bpd to 5.65 million bpd. “A slowdown in the pace of recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021 is now assumed due to elevated energy prices,” OPEC said in the report.
OPEC also cited slower-than-expected demand in China and India for the downward revision.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2021.