By Alex Lawler
LONDON, Jun 10 (.) – OPEC maintained its prediction of a strong recovery in global oil demand in 2021 led by the United States and China, although it cited uncertainties surrounding the trajectory of the pandemic.
In a monthly report released Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said demand will increase by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, or 6.6%. The forecast was unchanged for the second month in a row.
The forecast comes even after a slower than expected recovery in the first half of this year, and warns of “significant uncertainties” surrounding the pandemic, such as the possible appearance of new variants.
“The global economic recovery has been delayed due to the resurgence of COVID-19 infections and new lockdowns in key economies, including the euro zone, Japan and India,” the group said.
“Overall, the recovery in global economic growth and thus oil demand is expected to gain momentum in the second half.”
OPEC forecasts world economic growth in 2021 of 5.5%, unchanged from last month, assuming that the impact of the pandemic will have been “largely contained” at the beginning of the second half.
The OPEC + alliance agreed in April to gradually lift oil production cuts from May to July and confirmed the decision at a meeting on June 1. Most of its production cuts will remain after July.
The report showed higher oil production from the cartel, reflecting the decision to pump more and higher volume from Iran, exempt from the cuts. Production in May rose 390,000 bpd to 25.46 million bpd, OPEC said.
(Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)