OPEC Increases Oil Demand Forecasts While Citing ‘Speculators’ for Price Decline

The consortium of oil-exporting nations OPEC has indicated that the crude market retains its robustness, attributing the recent downturn in pricing to the actions of market speculators.

OPEC, in its latest monthly publication, modestly increased its projection for global oil demand growth for the year 2023 and maintained a comparatively optimistic outlook for 2024.

Brent crude oil prices have dipped to just below $82 a barrel, down from a peak of nearly $98 earlier in 2023.

Price reductions are occurring amidst concerns over economic prosperity, despite the bolstering effects of supply reductions by OPEC and its partner countries, and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

OPEC has dismissed the overly pessimistic market sentiments, highlighting the strength of Chinese oil imports, manageable risks to economic expansion, and the firmness of the actual oil market.

The report confirms that recent figures support significant global growth trajectories and stable oil market conditions. The decline in oil prices is largely attributed to the influence of financial speculators.

Additionally, OPEC has adjusted its 2023 world oil demand growth forecast upward by 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2.46 million bpd. The demand for 2024 is anticipated to increase by 2.25 million bpd, consistent with the previous month’s estimates.

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