OPEC: Worst Appears Over As Quarterly Demand Seen Growing

Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 12, 2009

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the worst may be over for oil markets, slightly upgrading its third quarter demand forecast as Asian appetite restores quarterly growth after months of decline.

In its June report, OPEC said, "In light of the considerable challenges the world economy and commodity markets, particularly the oil market, have undergone, the worst appears to be behind us."

It added that a "gradual recovery in demand is expected by the end of the year," with third quarter demand now seen as rising 40,000 barrels a day more than it forecast last month.

Oil consumption generally gets a boost from the U.S. driving season in the third quarter. But last year, demand had sequentially fallen during the period.

The organization said it was keeping broadly unchanged its global demand decline forecast for the whole yearafter downgrading its 2008 estimates.

But it also cut its demand estimate for 2009 by about 230,000 barrels a day to 83.8 million barrels a day -- one day after the International Energy Agency slightly revised upward its 2009 estimate for the first time in 10 months.

"As the world economy stabilizes, the world oil demand appears to be settling down," OPEC said in the report. "This should stop the bleeding in oil demand."  

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