Global oil demand will rise at the fastest pace in five years in 2015 as China leads gains in emerging economies, the International Energy Agency said.
World oil consumption will increase next year by 1.4 million barrels a day, the agency said in its first monthly report to assess 2015. The rate of growth will be the fastest since 2010. It’s also higher than a projected increase of 1.2 million a day in supplies from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the agency said.
Demand growth will be led by China and other countries outside the 34-member Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. While oil has retreated in the past month as threats to supplies in Libya and Iraq abate, prices will stay supported near historically high levels as risks in the region “remain extraordinarily high,” the agency said.
“The global economy is still expected to gain momentum in 2015,” said the Paris-based IEA, which advises most OECD nations on energy policy. “The oil outlook for 2015, unveiled here in detail for the first time, also does not suggest any letup in market conditions.”
Brent crude futures slipped 2.3 percent this year as Libya aims to restore supplies curbed by political protests, concerns fade that Iraq’s output will be reduced by an Islamist insurgency, and production in the U.S. nears its highest in three decades. Global gross domestic product will expand by 3.9 percent next year, up from 3.6 percent in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
World oil demand will climb 1.5 percent to a record 94.1 million barrels a day in 2015, as growth in emerging economies compensates for a contraction in developed nations, the IEA said. Many developing economies “are entering a stage of development where rising household incomes and expanding industrial activity typically fuel relatively fast oil consumption growth,” according to the report.
Chinese demand will increase by 440,000 barrels a day in 2015, or 4.2 percent, to 10.87 million a day, as government support keeps economic growth above 7 percent, the agency predicted.
The need for OPEC’s crude will decline to an average of 29.8 million barrels a day in 2015, or 100,000 a day less than this year, as the group produces more natural gas liquids. The IEA forecasts the amount of crude needed from the organization, rather than the level it will provide. OPEC’s output of NGLs will increase by 300,000 barrels a day next year to 6.7 million a day.
Non-OPEC producers, led by the U.S., will bolster production by 1.2 million barrels a day, or 2.1 percent, to 57.5 million a day next year.
The agency lowered global demand estimates for this year, by 130,000 barrels a day, amid signs the pace of economic recovery slackened in the second quarter. Consumption will increase by 1.2 million barrels a day this year to average 92.7 million a day.
Global markets are currently going through a “a soft patch” at a time when demand typically climbs, because of subdued purchases in Europe, China and developed nations in Asia, according to the agency.
Inventories of crude and refined oil products in developed nations rose by more than normal in May, by 44.2 million barrels to 2.64 billion. As a result, the deficit compared with the five-year seasonal average narrowed to 69.6 million barrels from 106.1 million.
Output from OPEC’s 12 members slipped by 40,000 barrels a day last month to 30.03 million a day because of losses in Iraq, the IEA said. Production in Iraq, the group’s second-biggest member, fell to 3.17 million barrels a day from 3.42 million a day following the halt of the Kirkuk oilfield as Islamist militants captured towns in the country’s northwest.
Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest member and de facto leader, “barely hiked production in June,” a sign that “crude markets are already well-supplied,” according to the report. The kingdom’s output rose 70,000 barrels a day to 9.78 million a day last month.
Demand for the organization’s supplies in the second half of this year is estimated at 30.6 million barrels a day, about 600,000 a day more than OPEC pumped in June.
Brent futures for August settlement slipped 40 cents to $108.27 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 10:53 a.m. local time.