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OPEC Forecasts 2014 Demand Growth for Crude Oil

Paul Ausick

In the February issue of its Monthly Oil Market Report, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has increased its estimate of global crude oil demand by 50,000 barrels a day to 1.09 million barrels, or a total demand of 90.98 million barrels a day. Interestingly OPEC is forecasting "strong growth" in the developed nations of North America and Europe.

World oil supply from non-OPEC countries is estimated at 54.14 million barrels a day in 2013, up by 1.28 million barrels over 2012. In 2014, OPEC projects non-OPEC supply to rise by 1.29 million barrels a day to 55.43 million barrels. The total contribution of the United States and Canada to global supply in 2014 is forecast at 11.99 million barrels a day and 4.13 million barrels a day, respectively. OPEC expects U.S. supply to rise by 840,000 barrels a day in 2014.

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As always, OPEC is coy about its members' contributions to global supply. In January the cartel produced an average of 29.71 million barrels a day, just short of the established quota of 30 million. That estimate is based on non-OPEC secondary sources. Based on direct communications with cartel members, OPEC produced 30.92 million barrels a day in January.

Expected improvements in the global economy, particularly in the developed nations, are driving crude oil demand forecasts for 2014. Demand from China rose by 33,000 barrels a day in 2013 and is forecast to rise by an additional 34,000 barrels a day in 2014. Chinese demand is expected to reach 10.4 million barrels a day in 2014.

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