OPEC sees sluggish global growth

Sunday, 10 October 2010 21:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

WASHINGTON: OPEC is seeing evidence of sluggish economic growth reflected in the demand for petroleum, and views weakness likely to persist into 2011, the cartel's top official said Saturday.

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri, speaking to global economic officials gathered in Washington, said there are signs global growth is sputtering now that many countries are ending their stimulus efforts.

"The impact of slowing economic recovery on oil demand is already evident, as growth in oil consumption is easing in some parts of the world," said the head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Next year, the situation is not expected to improve considerably. In fact, world economic growth is projected to be lower than in the current year. Thus, continued slow growth in oil demand is expected in 2011 at around 1.0 million barrels per day, in line with the growth level of the current year."

Moreover, he said much of the demand is coming from developing countries including China , India , and some in the Middle East and Latin America.

El-Badri, speaking at annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, said crude oil prices have been relatively stable in the past 12 months, holding in a range of 70 to 85 dollars a barrel following extraordinary volatility in the prior period.

But he added that "downward pressure on oil prices has been noticeable in light of the uncertain pace of the economic recovery as well as persistently weak oil market fundamentals."