OPEC Outlook


"Non-OECD regions will be the sole contributors to global demand growth in 2010"

OPEC reported the average price of its basket of 12 reference crudes hit a 15-month high of $80.29/bbl in early January, driven by cold weather. However, that trend reversed after temperatures rose in the Northern Hemisphere, combined with the stronger dollar and a downward correction in equity markets. The basket fell steadily to $71.01/bbl Jan. 29. Renewed concerns about economic growth, particularly in the Eurozone, resulted in a further decline, pushing the basket below $70/bbl in early February. It was at $69.76/bbl Feb. 9, up 90 for the day.

OPEC said the world economy continues to improve, with global GDP now expected to grow at "an upwardly revised" 3.4% in 2010 after contracting 0.9% in 2009. "The main contribution for this growth is coming from developing Asia, with China seen growing by 9.1% in 2010, while India is forecast to grow by 7% in 2010," said OPEC officials. "The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in comparison is forecast to grow on a much lower level of 1.7%. The U.S. is now expected to contribute the most within the OECD at 2.5% in 2010. Growth in 2010 continues to be challenged by concerns about the level of public debt in almost all OECD regions, still record high unemployment levels across the globe, and government efforts in China to prevent the economy from overheating."

They said world oil demand growth in 2009 remained broadly unchanged at a contraction of 1.4 million b/d. For 2010, global demand is projected to grow by 800,000 b/d, in line with the previous forecast. "The slower pace of recovery in U.S. demand, despite positive economic signals, is a key uncertainty for oil demand growth this year," officials said. "Non-OECD regions will be the sole contributors to global demand growth in 2010."

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