Despite concerns about the economy, global oil demand continues to exceed expectations, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) which raised its demand growth forecasts for both 2023 and 2024.
Global oil consumption continued to be strong in September, with a record-high Chinese demand of 17.1 million barrels per day (bpd), the IEA said in its Oil Market Report today.
Due to an all-time high Chinese monthly demand fueled by the petrochemical sector and resilient consumption in the United States, the agency revised up its 2023 oil demand growth forecast to 2.4 million bpd, up from 2.3 million bpd growth expected in the October report.
This year, China is expected to account for 1.8 million bpd of the 2.4 million bpd growth, which will lift total global demand to 102 million bpd.
The IEA also revised up its estimates for oil demand growth for next year—to 930,000 bpd, up from 900,000 bpd expected in last month’s report. Despite the fact that growth is expected to be almost two-thirds lower than this year’s increase, global oil demand is set to rise to a record annual high of 102.9 million bpd in 2024, the agency noted.
While the recent move in oil prices reflected concerns about the global economy and oil demand, and “While this more bearish mood may be justified, world oil demand continues to exceed expectations,” the IEA said today.
But supply growth is also exceeding expectations, according to the agency, which noted that “Barring large unforeseen outages, world oil supply is firmly on an upward trajectory.”
Early next year, the market could tip into a surplus due to weaker seasonal demand growth.
But “For now, with demand still exceeding available supplies heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter, market balances will remain vulnerable to heightened economic and geopolitical risks – and further volatility ahead,” the IEA said.
OPEC dismissed on Monday the most recent negative market sentiment as overblown and said that the oil market fundamentals remain strong, with Chinese crude imports set to increase to a new annual record in 2023.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.