RIYADH: Keeping its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2023 unchanged at 2.3 million barrels per day or 2.3 percent, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries flagged downside risks to summer oil demand in its monthly report issued on Thursday.
The oil producers warned the outlook “is subject to many uncertainties, including the trend and pace of economic activity in both OECD and non-OECD countries.”
OPEC, Russia and other allies, known as OPEC+, surprised the oil market on April 2 with an announcement of adding to curbs already in place.
OPEC said the usual US seasonal demand uptick could take a hit from any economic weakness due to interest rate hikes, and the reopening of China had yet to stop a decline in global refining intake of crude.
“It should be noted that potential challenges to global economic development include high inflation, monetary tightening, stability of financial markets and high sovereign, corporate and private debt levels,” OPEC said.
“The impact of the recent reopening of China has still not been sufficient to reverse the declining trend in global refinery intakes,” OPEC added.
The report also showed OPEC’s oil production fell in March, reflecting the impact of earlier output cuts pledged by OPEC+ to support the market as well as some unplanned outages.
OPEC said its March output fell by 86,000 bpd to 28.8 million bpd.