IEA lifts 2010 Global Oil Demand Forecast

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"Global demand estimate was the highest rate since the late 1970s."

The International Energy Agency has raised its forecast for global oil demand this year following strong consumption in industrialized countries, but held its forecast for next year steady.

The IEA on Friday lifted its forecast for global oil demand in 2010 to 87.3 million barrels per day, an increase of 400,000 barrels per day from its previous forecast.

The agency noted in its monthly Oil Market Report that the forecast 2.8% growth of global oil demand was the highest rate since the late 1970s, except for a spurt in 2004.

The IEA said demand from the advanced countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development area has been stronger in recent months, about 1.1 million barrels per day (mbd) higher than estimated just two months ago.

It lifted its 2010 demand forecast to 45.9 mbd, for annual growth of 1.0%, but the agency said it expected the structural decline in their oil in 2011, declining 0.7%.

Demand in emerging was forecast to grow, but slow to 3.7% from 4.7% in 2010.

Overall, the IEA held its 2011 oil demand forecast to 1.4% growth to 88.5 mbd.

On Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised its forecast for 2010 global oil demand growth to 1.6% from 1.3%. It expects oil demand growth of 1.32 mbd to 85.78 million bpd.

For 2011, OPEC expects oil demand to increase by 1.4% instead of 1.2% to 86.95 mbd.

The IEA report said that although U.S. stimulus measures and strong demand in recent months had pumped up the price of oil to about US$90 a barrel, the slowdown in demand growth should contain prices.

With current demand strength "largely transient," growth expected to recede in the coming year, and plentiful stocks, the IEA concluded "the recent rise in oil prices may be temporary."

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