The International Energy Agency revised higher its oil demand forecast for this year but warned of “lingering concerns” over the strength of the recovery in consumption. The Paris-based organization said in its monthly market report on Wednesday that “fundamentals look decidedly stronger” when compared with April last year when oil prices tumbled to multidecade lows.
“The massive overhang in global oil inventories that built up during last year’s Covid-19 demand shock is being worked off, vaccine campaigns are gathering pace and the global economy appears to be on a better footing,” the intergovernmental agency said.
World oil demand is expected to expand by 5-7m barrels a day in 2021 — an upward revision of 230,000 b/d — with total consumption at 96.7m b/d. Demand declined last year by 8.7m b/d, the IEA said.
Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose 1.7 percent in London trading to $64-73 a barrel.
Still, coronavirus cases are rising in Europe as well as India and Brazil, which tempered the IEA’s optimism about the future.
As global oil producers in the Opec+ alliance increased output in the coming months to meet a growing supply gap, the IEA said, prices could come under “renewed pressure”.
Opec and allies outside of the cartel, including Russia, agreed earlier this month to increase production from May. Producers will collectively increase output by more than 2m b/d in the coming three months, which includes the unwinding of additional voluntary curbs by Saudi Arabia.