OPEC cuts demand forecast for its crude

Producing predictions: OPEC expects rival demand to rise further next year

OPEC has maintained its forecast for 1.04 million-barrel daily demand growth next year, but further cut its expectations for its own oil amid expanding non-OPEC supplies.

The organisation said it expected demand for its crude to fall by 320,000 barrels per day in 2014 at 29.61 million barrels, having last month predicted a drop of 260,000 barrels.

OPEC’s predicted demand for its crude this year is unchanged at 29.9 million barrels, a fall of half a million on 2012.

Overall demand is expected to rise by around 820,000 barrels this year, with OPEC adding 25,000 barrels to its prediction based on actual first-half demand.

The group of producing countries expects non-OPEC supply to rise by 1.2 million barrels next year led by the North American unconventional boom, with the Sudans, Russia, China and Colombia all also expected to hike their output.

Supplies from Syria, Norway, the UK and Australia are expected to decline in 2014, OPEC said.

The organisation has maintained its global economic forecasts for growth of 2.9% this year and 3.5% next year.

The group said oil prices had recovered by an average of 10% since sharp falls in the first four months of 2013.

OPEC said that it was now geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Africa together with OECD recovery that was driving prices and demand upward, rather than non-OECD demand as had been the case in recent times.

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