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OPEC+ Treads a Narrow Path as Demand Outlook Weakens Again

Producers need to maintain supply restraint amid a sluggish recovery if they’re to shrink stockpiles

Stockpiles remain high as demand outlooks weaken

Stockpiles remain high as demand outlooks weaken

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t getting any closer for OPEC and allied oil-producing countries, as forecasts of the world’s need for their supplies next year are cut again.

The world’s three major oil agencies — the International Energy Agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — all reduced the outlook for global oil demand in 2021 in their latest monthly reports. With two of them also increasing their forecasts for non-OPEC crude production next year, the gap that needs to be filled with barrels from the OPEC countries continues to get smaller.