Vienna, March 11th (EFE). – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), on Thursday, raised its accounts for global oil demand for this year by 220,000 barrels per day amid a noticeable rise in prices, which in February reached their highest level since January 2020, before the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
According to the latest monthly OPEC report, the rise in prices and demand is due to the possibility of improving the global economy this year amid mass immunization of the population, especially in industrialized countries.
For this year, OPEC analysts expect the global economy to grow 5.1%, after contracting by 3.7% last year, marked by the start of the epidemic.
The organization stated in its report issued in Vienna that the countries that will grow the most this year will be China by 8% and India by 9%.
For the Eurozone, the oil group now expects growth of 4.3%, while in the United States the ratio is at 4.8%.
With this data, OPEC expects a sharp rise in oil demand, which will stand at 96.27 million barrels per day, up 5.9 million barrels per day from last year, when a decrease of 9.6 million barrels per day was recorded.
To keep pace with these figures, OPEC and its oil-producing partners, led by Russia, decided last year to reduce their production by more than 9 million barrels per day.
Despite cautious optimism about the global economic recovery after the pandemic, the group’s analysts highlight several uncertainties, such as the effectiveness of vaccines against virus mutations, the high level of public debt that many countries bear, and mounting inflationary pressures.
OPEC experts say: “Although it is not imminent, high inflation, especially in the US and the Eurozone, may cause tightening of monetary policies, which should be supervised in the short term.”
The OPEC report for the month of March warns that “in addition, issues related to disputed trade, especially between the United States and China, could persist.”
On the other hand, OPEC, to which 13 countries from the Middle East, Africa and South America (Venezuela) belong, puts the demand for its oil in 2021 at 27.4 million barrels per day, which is about 4.9 million barrels per day more than the previous year.
Last February, demand for OPEC crude reached 24.85 million barrels per day, about 650,000 barrels less than January, according to the report of the oil group. EFE
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