OPEC: OIL DEMAND UP
Oil market highlights
Crude Oil Price Movements
The OPEC Reference Basket averaged $37.86/b in April, a gain of $3.21 or 9.3%. This was 40% higher than the lows reached in the beginning of the year, buoyed by expectations for an improving market situation, despite the current persistent oversupply.
Oil futures surged more than 8%, with ICE Brent up $3.55 to average $43.34/b, while Nymex WTI rose $3.16 to $41.12/b.
World economic growth is forecast at 3.1% in 2016, after estimated growth of 2.9% last year, both unchanged from the previous month. OECD growth in 2016 remains at 1.9%, slightly below the 2.0% seen in 2015. In the emerging economies, India and China continue to expand this year at a considerable level of 7.5% and 6.5%, respectively, with China having been revised up by 0.2 pp after a better-than-expected 1Q16. Brazil and Russia, however, are forecast to remain in recession this year, contracting by 3.4% and 1.1% respectively, with Brazil having been revised down by 0.5 pp.
World Oil Demand
World oil demand in 2015 grew by around 1.54 mb/d, unchanged from last month's report. Total oil consumption averaged 92.98 mb/d. In 2016, world oil demand is projected to rise by 1.20 mb/d to reach 94.18 mb/d, unchanged from last month's projections, despite upward revisions to Other Asia, which were counterbalanced by downward revisions to Latin America and China.
World Oil Supply
Non-OPEC oil supply growth for 2015 has been revised up slightly to 1.47 mb/d for an average of 57.14 mb/d. For 2016, non-OPEC oil supply was adjusted lower to average 56.40 mb/d, contracting by 0.74 mb/d. The estimate for OPEC NGLs and non-conventional oils in 2015 has been revised down by 20 tb/d based on direct communication to show a rise of 0.13 mb/d to average 6.13 mb/d. Growth in 2016 has also been adjusted lower to 0.16 mb/d to average 6.29 mb/d. In April, OPEC crude oil production rose 188 tb/d to average 32.44 mb/d, according to secondary sources.
Product Markets and Refining Operations
Product markets in the US were supported by strong domestic gasoline demand amid tightening sentiment due to some outages and maintenance. In Europe, higher export opportunities for gasoline ahead of the driving season lent support to refinery margins.
Meanwhile, Asian margins weakened despite peaking refinery maintenance in the region as the oversupply in middle distillates weighed on product markets.
Dirty tanker spot freight rates declined on the back of lower VLCC and Aframax freight rates as tonnage availability grew while market activity remains limited. Suezmax spot freight rates improved in April supported by strong sentiment for several destinations combined with an occasionally tight position list. In the clean tanker market, West of Suez activities supported freight rates, while East of Suez rates remained weak.
OECD commercial oil stocks fell in March to stand at 3,049 mb. At this level, OECD commercial oil stocks are around 361 mb above the latest five-year average. Crude inventories showed a lower surplus of 215 mb, while products were broadly flat at 146 mb.
In terms of forward cover, OECD commercial stocks stood at 66.8 days, some 7.5 days higher than the latest five-year average.
Balance of Supply and Demand
Demand for OPEC crude in 2015 is estimated to average 29.7 mb/d, unchanged from the previous month and 0.1 mb/d lower than the previous year. In 2016, demand for OPEC crude is projected at 31.5 mb/d, unchanged from the previous report and 1.8 mb/d higher than last year.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.