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OPEC cuts oil demand growth forecast

August 09, 2011|Reuters

LONDON - OPEC, source of more than a third of the world's oil, cut its forecast for global oil demand growth this year as a worsening economic outlook curbs consumption in developed economies.

The revision from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a report on Tuesday follows reductions by other forecasters, such as investment bank Barclays Capital, as slowing growth hits consumers and businesses.

"Dark clouds over the economy are already impacting the market's direction," OPEC said in its monthly report. "The potential for a consequent deterioration in market stability requires higher vigilance and close monitoring of developments over the coming months."

World oil demand will increase by 1.21 million barrels per day in 2011, OPEC said, 150,000 bpd less than expected last month. Growth next year was lowered only marginally, by 20,000 barrels per day to 1.30 million barrels per day.

Economic gloom has been weighing on oil prices and, officials say, causing some concern in OPEC. Brent crude slumped to the lowest in six months on Tuesday, dipping below $100, before rebounding towards $105.

"Economic worries along with high oil prices have affected OECD oil demand," OPEC said. A revised report received minutes before its embargoed release time of 1130 GMT removed the words "high oil prices" from the sentence.

"Oil demand in the OECD is expected to continue its contraction after a temporary rebound last year."

The OECD countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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