OPEC has released their May monthly market assessment. The OPEC forecast was slightly biased to the bullish side versus last week’s EIA energy outlook which was slightly bearish.
Following are the main highlights.
• The global GDP growth forecast remains at 3.8% for 2018, following growth of 3.8% in 2017. Expected US growth in 2018 is unchanged from the previous month at 2.7%, after growth of 2.3% in 2017.
• World oil demand growth for 2017 was kept unchanged from last month’s assessment, despite some adjustments to both OECD and non-OECD regions, which offset each other. World oil demand is estimated to have grown by 1.65 mb/d in 2017 to average 97.20 mb/d. For 2018, oil demand growth is forecast to increase by around 1.65 mb/d to average 98.85 mb/d. Growth was revised higher by 25 tb/d compared with last month’s assessment.
• Non-OPEC supply for 2017 was revised down slightly by 0.01 mb/d to now showgrowth of 0.87 mb/d y-o-y and average 57.89 mb/d. The revision came on the back of a review of historical non-conventional production data leading to downward adjustments, mostly for Brazil, as well as upward revisions, notably for OECD Europe. Furthermore, in 2018, upward revisions in 1Q18 to the forecasts of the US, Argentina, Colombia and China were partially offset by downward adjustments to Canada, Mexico, Norway, UK, and Brazil. This has led to an upward revision to 2018 non-OPEC supply of 0.01 mb/d. It is now estimated to grow by 1.72 mb/d y-o-y to average 59.62 mb/d, compared to last month’s assessment. Following a downward revision in 2017, OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids production in 2018 are forecast to grow by 0.18 mb/d y-o-y, to average 6.49 mb/d. OPEC crude oil production in April 2018 increased by 12 tb/d, to average 31.93 mb/d, according to secondary sources.
• Preliminary data for March 2018 shows that total OECD commercial oil stocks fell by 12.7 mb to stand at 2,829 mb, which is 9 mb above the latest five-year average. However, this current level of OECD stocks still remains 258 mb above January 2014. Within the components, crude stocks in March 2018 indicated a surplus of 12 mb, while product stocks witnessed a deficit of 3 mb against the latest five-year average. In terms of days of forward cover, OECD commercial stocks fell in March to stand at 59.9 days, which is 1.6 days lower than the latest five-year average.
• In 2017, demand for OPEC crude is estimated to stand at 33.0 mb/d, 0.6 mb/d higher than a year earlier. In 2018, demand for OPEC crude is forecast at 32.7 mb/d, 0.3 mb/d lower than the 2017 level.