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Oil prices move lower even as demand pressures mount

IEA reports global oil output is lower than it was at this point last year as demand surges.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Crude oil prices dip back below $50 per barrel even after data show demand building against a disruption in supplies. File photo by Monika Graff/UPI
Crude oil prices dip back below $50 per barrel even after data show demand building against a disruption in supplies. File photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, June 14 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices took a nosedive Tuesday even after the International Energy Agency said demand was moving higher against short-term disruptions in supply.

The IEA said in its monthly market report for June that it revised its global oil demand forecast for the year higher. First quarter demand was estimated at 1.6 million barrels per day, with a full-year average expected at 1.3 million bpd.

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"The growth rate is slightly above the previous trend, mostly due to relatively low crude oil prices," the report read.

Consumer demand is moving higher as more travelers take to the road amid historically low fuel prices. In the United States, the world's leading economy, the average retail price for a gallon of gasoline is 15 percent lower than it was this time last year. In terms of automotive trends, more consumers are turning to larger, and less fuel-efficient vehicles, in the era of cheaper fuels.

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On the supply side, the IEA said production across the board was down by around 800,000 bpd.

"At 95.4 million bpd, output stood 590,000 bpd below a year earlier - the first significant drop since early 2013," it said.

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Crude oil prices moved above the $50 mark for the first time in nearly a year during recent sessions after market data indicated some of the high level of supplies was now getting consumed. Oil prices moved sharply lower after the IEA's report on global production, however.

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The price for Brent crude oil moved lower by 0.9 percent to start the day in New York at $49.89 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price for oil, was 0.7 percent below the previous close to $48.50 per barrel.

Outages from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are heaviest for Nigeria, where the oil sector is under attack from militants in the Niger Delta. In North America, U.S. crude oil production is faltering in part because of the low price for oil, while Canadian production was down by around 1 million bpd in May because of wildfires in Alberta.

Iran has balanced against some of the OPEC declines, though the IEA said non-OPEC production is expected to decline by about 900,000 bpd this year. In terms of overall supply and demand, OPEC said in its monthly report for June the market was at a standstill.

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Global markets have faced negative pressure in general because of the concerns over the British referendum to leave the European Union. Regional officials said European economic growth was stumble if the so-called Brexit strategy prevails.

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