Opec forecasts higher demand in 2018 as the market moves closer to deficit

Courtney Goldsmith
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Opec has been working to boost oil prices after they slumped in 2014 (Source: Getty)

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has once again predicted higher demand for its oil as the cartel signalled the global market could move into a deficit in 2018.

In its monthly report, Opec revised world oil demand growth up by about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.5m bpd for 2017 and 30,000 bpd to 1.4m bpd in 2018. It also said the world will need 33.06m bpd of its crude next year, which was up 230,000 bpd from its previous forecast and made the third consecutive monthly increase.

Last month, Opec's oil output as assessed by secondary sources averaged 32.75m bpd, up about 89,000 bpd from August due to increases in Libya, Nigeria, Iraq and Gabon. Despite the rise, supply came in slightly below the demand forecast.

Opec added that inventories in developed economies fell by 24.7m barrels in August to 2.996bn barrels, 171m barrels above the five-year average.

Opec has aimed to reduce the global supply glut with a deal among its members and non-members including Russia to cut production by 1.8m bpd.

Read more: Oil prices edge up as Opec confirms the market is rebalancing

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