Global thirst for oil will be slightly stronger than expected in the last quarter of 2012 because of demand from China and despite a sharp cutback in Europe recently, the International Energy Agency forecast on Wednesday.
The IEA raised its estimate for global demand in the last three months of the year by 435,000 barrels per day to 90.5 mbd.
This was despite latest European data indicating “the steepest contraction” of demand in the third quarter since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
The IEA stressed in its monthly review of the oil market that beneath the surface of apparently “calm” trading conditions, tectonic changes were taking place in the structure of energy markets, adding to uncertainty.
The market was undergoing “almost violent structural change” on two fronts.
These were “an apparent acceleration in the eastward shift of global oil demand growth”.
And the second was accelerating globalisation of the refining industry.
“End-user markets are globalising. No longer is refining a local industry. Exports are what’s driving throughputs in Europe and the US in the face of local demand contraction,” the IEA said.
“Until recently the largest product importer, the US has become the world’s second largest exporter after Russia, which recently hit record-high runs. India, another product exporter, is also on the rise,” the report said.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]