OPEC maintains outlook on rising oil demand in H2 2021

Oil consumption will jump by about 5 million barrels a day – or around 5% – in the second half of 2021 compared to the first, as countries around the world begin their exit from the pandemic slump.

This is according to a new report by OPEC which includes estimates little changed from a month ago, despite growing uncertainties around another wave of COVID-19 infections and fresh lockdowns in key economies.

The global cartel of oil producers will consider further increases to its group output in a summit on July 1, having brought back online 40% of the production that was shuttered during the first COVID wave last year.

“Global economic recovery has been delayed due to the resurgence of COVID-19 infections and renewed lockdowns in key economies, including the Eurozone, Japan and India,” OPEC said in its monthly report.

“Overall, the recovery in global economic growth, and hence oil demand, are expected to gain momentum in the second half,” it said.

The 23-nation OPEC+ coalition has already said it expects world crude markets to become tight in the next six months, while the International Energy Agency has warned of higher prices if the group doesn’t ease output cuts.

Oil creeped above $72 a barrel after the report was released. Brent crude has gained 39% this year based on rising demand and the continued production cuts.