OPEC: China leads in oil demand growth

April 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM
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VIENNA, April 11 (UPI) -- U.S. oil demand is expected to trend lower in 2013 while China will account for much of the oil demand growth, OPEC said in its monthly report.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its report for April that the U.S. economy was on the road to recovery. It said first quarter economic growth was around 2.5 percent to 3 percent. The cartel said, however, that the forecast for crude oil demand was uncertain because of budgetary concerns in the United States.

"The projections for 2013 oil consumption therefore seem to be even more skewed towards to the downside compared with the situation one month ago, despite some increasing consumer sentiment which was observed in the first quarter of 2013," the cartel said.

For China, OPEC said it saw growth in gross domestic product slow from 9.4 percent in 2011 to 7.8 percent in 2012. Nevertheless, the report said that "the recovery in the Chinese economy will continue in 2013."

OPEC said it revised its oil demand forecast for 2013 by 40,000 barrels per day to around 800,000 bpd, but that's still higher than estimates from last year and indicates growth.

"The largest share of this growth is expected to come from China," the cartel stated.

OPEC's assessment corresponded with analysis for the U.S. Energy Department, which saw similar trends in the Chinese economy in its short-term energy outlook published early this week.

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