IEA forecasts higher 2015 global oil demand

In its April Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency raised its forecast of 2015 global oil demand by 90,000 b/d to 93.6 million b/d, a gain of 1.1 million b/d on the year and a notable acceleration of the 700,000-b/d growth in 2014, as the global economy slowly gains momentum. Colder-than-year-earlier temperatures in most Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development economies in this year’s first quarter also accounted for part of the upward revision.

Since bottoming out at a 5-year low of 270,000 b/d year-on-year in second-quarter 2014, global growth has steadily strengthened, rising to a one-and-a-half-year peak of 1.3 million b/d year-on-year in this year’s first quarter.

Global supply rose an estimated 1 million b/d month-on-month in March to 95.2 million b/d. Supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries surged to 31.02 million b/d in March, up 890,000 b/d on February, as top exporter Saudi Arabia ramped up output towards record rates while Iraq and Libya rebounded strongly.

Estimated non-OPEC oil production rose 100,000 b/d to 57.7 million b/d in March, led by the US, with Russia also contributing.

Compared with last month’s report, the forecast for North American production for this year’s second half has been adjusted downward by 160,000 b/d on a slightly negative outlook for the US and Canada.

OECD industry stocks slipped 1.7 million bbl in February, despite a massive 36.4 million bbl build in crude oil stocks. Preliminary data show OECD inventories rising counter-seasonally in March, by 29.2 million bbl, as US crude holdings extended recent builds and refined products defied seasonal trends.

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