OPEC lowers demand outlook despite supply rise

May 13th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, May 13 (DPA) The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Wednesday said though the global production levels of oil had increased in April, it further lowered its demand projections for the year because of the ongoing economic downturn.
In April, global oil supply grew from the previous month for the first time since last October, to 83.55 million barrels per day (b/d), the Vienna-based group said in its latest market report. One barrel equals 158 litres.

Of the output increase of 286,000 b/d, 77 percent came from OPEC member states.

OPEC lowered its demand figures yet again, predicting a decrease of 1.83 percent to 84.03 million b/d for 2009, compared with minus 1.60 percent stated in last month’s report.

Although the oil cartel acknowledged some recent improvement in confidence about the world economy, it said the “eventual recovery may be slower and weaker” than with previous crises.

The outbreak of swine flu was further decreasing demand for aviation fuel, OPEC said, as oil consumption was already weakened by high unemployment rates and lower production.

OPEC, which produces more than a third of the world’s crude oil, saw its basket price rise from $46.65 per barrel at the end of March to $56.76 per barrel on Tuesday.

The group’s 12 oil ministers are scheduled to meet May 28 in Vienna to discuss whether to maintain current output levels.

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