Demand got off to a strong start this year with global 1Q18 growth at over 2 mb/d, helped by cold weather in the northern hemisphere. Recent data, however, point to a slowdown, with rising prices a factor. In 2Q18, growth slowed to 0.9 mb/d. In 1H18, growth will average 1.5 mb/d, falling to 1.3 mb/d in the second half of the year.
In 1H19, the comparison with a strong 1H18 will see growth of close to 1.2 mb/d, accelerating to 1.6 mb/d in the second half. We expect growth of 1.4 mb/d in world oil demand in both 2018 and 2019, unchanged from last month’s Report.
Global oil supply rose by 370 kb/d in June mainly due to higher Saudi Arabian and Russian output as parties to the Vienna Agreement decided to achieve 100% compliance. OPEC crude production in June reached a four-month high of 31.87 mb/d. A surge from Saudi Arabia offset losses in Angola, Libya, and Venezuela.
Non-OPEC output is set to expand by 2 mb/d in 2018 and by 1.8 mb/d next year led by the United States, but there are temporary disruptions in Canada, Brazil, Kazakhstan and the North Sea.
OECD commercial stocks rose 13.9 mb in May to 2 840 mb, only the third monthly increase since July 2017. However, stocks gained only half as much as normal. At end-month, OECD inventories were 23 mb below the five-year average. Preliminary data show stocks falling in June.
Crude oil prices fell in June but since the Vienna Agreement meetings values for ICE Brent and NYMEX WTI have increased by 7% and 13%, respectively, on news of supply disruptions. In product markets, increased refinery output and signs of slowing demand put pressure on gasoline, diesel and jet fuel cracks.
Global refining throughput will grow by 2 mb/d from 2Q18 to 3Q18, with more than half of the increase in the Atlantic Basin. Runs are forecast to reach 82.8 mb/d, 0.7 mb/d higher than the previous record level in 4Q17. This could result in large crude stock draws, exceeding 1.4 mb/d. Refined product stocks will seasonally increase by 0.6 mb/d.