OPEC sees increased demand for refined products
Economists at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said April 13 that gasoline and diesel demand would drive overall growth, but not enough to reach pre-pandemic strength.
OPEC in its monthly market report for April reported that demand growth would accelerate in the second half of the year.
“Gasoline is projected to be the key driver for oil demand recovery beginning with the onset of the summer driving season,” the report read. “Diesel will also provide support, mostly based on economic improvements stemming from the implementation of fiscal stimulus programmes.”
Gasoline demand is forecast to increase from 24mn b/d in the first quarter to 26.7mn b/d in Q3 before tapering off late in the year. Gasoline demand, however, is not expected to pass 2019 levels because of the lingering demand destruction from the pandemic.
Diesel consumption, meanwhile, should also get a lift by stimulus programmes in major economies, most notably in the US. OPEC economists expect diesel consumption will increase from 26.3mn b/d in Q1 to 27.4mn b/d by year’s end.
“Nonetheless, diesel consumption is also expected to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels for the entire year,” OPEC economists wrote.
For the global economy, OPEC expects 2021 growth to be around 5.4%, driven in large part by US activity.
“However, this forecast remains clouded by uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the spread of COVID-19 variants and the speed of the vaccine rollout,” the report stated.