Global oil surplus to persist into first half of 2017: IEA
A sharp slowdown in global oil demand growth, coupled with ballooning inventories and rising supply means the crude market will be oversupplied at least through the first six months of 2017, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.
"Our forecast in this month's report suggests that this supply-demand dynamic may not change significantly in the coming months. As a result, supply will continue to outpace demand at least through the first half of next year," the IEA said.
The IEA had previously expected the market to show no surplus in the second half of this year.
Global refinery runs are expected to grow at their slowest pace in at least a decade this year, which will curb appetite for crude oil, just as inventories across the OECD rose to a fresh record high of 3.111 billion barrels, the report said.
"With our more pessimistic outlook for the second half of 2016 refining activity and revisions to crude supply, the expected draws in the third quarter of 2016 are now lower, while the build in the fourth quarter of 2016 is higher," the IEA said.
Global demand growth is slowing at a faster pace than the group initially predicted. The IEA left its forecast for demand growth for 2017 unchanged from its prediction in June at 1.2 million barrels per day, but cut its forecast for 2016 consumption growth to 1.3 million bpd, from 1.4 million.
"The key demand change in this report is the erosion of 300,000 bpd from the third quarter of 2016's global demand estimate, and the resulting removal of 100,000 bpd from the net 2016 forecast," the IEA said.
Despite oil's collapse and resulting investment cuts, global oil production is still expanding, although nowhere near the breakneck pace of 2015. High-cost non-Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producers have been hit particularly hard.
However, the loss has been more than made up for by OPEC. Saudi Arabia and Iran have each raised oil output by over 1 million barrels a day since late 2014 when OPEC shifted strategy to defend market share rather than price.