OPEC Sees Strong Oil Demand Recovery This Autumn

Global oil demand will rise by six million barrels per day (bpd) this year from the lows of 2020, led by strong consumption in China and the United States, especially in the second half of 2021 with growing economies and border re-openings, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Thursday.

In its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), the organization continues to expect total global oil demand to average 96.58 million bpd this year, up from 90.63 million bpd in 2020, despite the COVID resurgence and renewed lockdowns in key economies, including the Eurozone, Japan, and India.

"However, the ongoing vaccination efforts, growing share of recovered cases leading to increasing herd immunity, and the easing of lockdown restrictions lend optimism that the pandemic could be contained in the few months to come," OPEC said in its report.

The global economic rebound will benefit from stimulus measures, high savings rates in advanced economies, and pent-up demand following the lockdowns, the cartel noted.

The economic momentum and re-openings are set to accelerate the oil demand rebound in the second half of the year, when total demand worldwide is expected to reach 99.0 million bpd, up from an estimated 94.1 million bpd for the first half of 2021. Improving mobility in major economies support gasoline and diesel demand, while seasonal summer demand will also add to higher consumption. The ongoing vaccination is also a bullish factor in OPEC’s outlook for the second half of the year.

"OECD Americas, led by the US, is projected to be the largest contributor to oil demand growth in 2021, supported by rebounding transportation fuels, mainly gasoline, and healthy light- and middle-distillate requirements," OPEC said.

Despite this, oil demand in North America is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, the cartel noted.

In developing economies, China will lead the demand growth, followed by India and other markets in Asia, according to OPEC.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com