OPEC cuts forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019

OPEC cut its forecast for growth in non-OPEC oil supply in 2019 by 30,000 bpd to 2.12 million bpd. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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OPEC cuts forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019

  • OPEC cut its forecast for growth in non-OPEC oil supply in 2019 by 30,000 bpd to 2.12 million bpd

LONDON: OPEC cut its forecast of global demand growth for oil next year for a third straight month on Thursday, citing headwinds facing the broader economy, and key consuming countries in particular, from trade disputes and volatile emerging markets.
In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said world oil demand would increase by 1.36 million barrels per day (bpd) next year, marking a decline of 50,000 bpd from its previous estimate.
The group also cut the estimate for demand in 2019 for its own crude by another 300,000 bpd from last month to 31.8 million bpd, which in turn marks a decline of 900,000 bpd from the projection for 2018.
OPEC said its own production rose by 132,000 bpd in September to 32.76 million bpd, the highest according to the monthly report since August 2017.
Saudi Arabia and Libya increased output last month by 108,000 bpd and 103,000 bpd respectively, more than offsetting the 150,000-bpd decline from Iran to 3.447 million bpd, as reported by secondary sources.
OPEC said Iran told the group its oil output had fallen by just 51,000 bpd to 3.775 million bpd.
The group, led by Saudi Arabia, has pledged to increase output to compensate for the loss of any Iranian supply to US sanctions that come into force next month.
OPEC cut its forecast for growth in non-OPEC oil supply in 2019 by 30,000 bpd to 2.12 million bpd.


In nod to debt concerns, China Belt and Road summit to urge sustainable financing

Updated 1 min 5 sec ago
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In nod to debt concerns, China Belt and Road summit to urge sustainable financing

  • The Belt and Road Initiative envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond
  • But the initiative has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington
SHANGHAI: World leaders meeting in Beijing this week for a summit on China’s Belt and Road initiative will agree to project financing that respects global debt goals and promotes green growth, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a key policy of President Xi Jinping and envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending.
But it has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington, which views it as merely a means to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt through nontransparent projects.
The United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan last month, the first for a G7 nation.
In an apparent nod to these concerns, the communique reiterates promises reached at the last summit in 2017 for sustainable financing — but adds a line on debt, which was not included the last time.
“We support collaboration among national and international financial institutions to provide diversified and sustainable financial supports for projects,” the draft communique reads.
“We encourage local currency financing, mutual establishment of financial institutions, and a greater role of development finance in line with respective national priorities, laws, regulations and international commitments, and the agreed principles by the UNGA on debt sustainability,” it added, referring to the United Nations General Assembly.
The word “green” appears in the draft seven times. It was not mentioned once in the summit communique from two years ago.
“We underline the importance of promoting green development,” the draft reads. “We encourage the development of green finance including the issuance of green bonds as well as development of green technology.”
The Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Friday that the Belt and Road project is not a “geopolitical tool” or a debt crisis for participating nations, but Beijing welcomes constructive suggestions on how to address concerns over the initiative.
A total of 37 foreign leaders are due to attend the April 25-27 summit, though the United States is only sending lower-level representatives, reflecting its unease over the scheme.
The number of foreign leaders at the April 25-27 summit is up from 29 last time, mainly from China’s closest allies like Pakistan and Russia but also Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
China has repeatedly said Belt and Road is for the benefit of the whole world, and that it is committed to upholding globally accepted norms in ensuring projects are transparent and win-win for all parties.
“We emphasize the importance of the rule of law and equal opportunities for all,” the draft reads.