16 December 2009 | Jake Kanter
Demand for oil will be higher next year as the global economy recovers, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
In its December Monthly Oil Market Report out yesterday, the group said that following two years of sharp decline, world oil demand will increase by 800,000 barrels a day to 85.13 million barrels. This was up from last month’s predicted increase of 750,000 barrels a day.
But Opec remained cautious, describing 2009 as “one of the worst years” for oil demand. Doubt remains, it added, over the strength of the economic recovery next year.
The group said crude prices averaged $76.3 (£46.9) a barrel in November, but “bullish sentiment” was undermined going into this month by the stronger US dollar and downward revisions to the country’s GDP. Today’s Opec basket price is $70.8 (£43.5).
Last month, Opec said that oil prices are likely to remain well above $70 (£43) a barrel as the economy, aided by growth in Asia, continues to improve.