PARIS, June 13 (KUNA) -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday that the slump in oil markets accentuated in May, but that prices remain firm due to economic concerns and prospects of diminishing demand.
The Agency forecast that demand growth for crude oil in 2012 would rise by about 820,000 barrels to reach 89.9 million barrels per day (mb/d), slightly lower than forecasts of 90 mb/d a month ago in the previous IEA report.
The lower projections take into account "mounting concern over a slowdown in Chinese growth and rising oil supplies." The ongoing Euro crises and fears of negative consequences on growth also weighed on the market and calculations for future trends.
In this context, the IEA said oil prices were 20 percent lower than peak levels so far this year with Brent crude last trading at around USD 97.50/bbl and WTI at USD 83.50/bbl.
Meanwhile, global oil supply rose by 200,000 b/d in May to 91.1 mb/d, with non-OPEC supply accounting for most of the increase. Non-OPEC supply is up 1.0 mb/d compared with year-earlier levels and it is forecast to grow by an average of 700,000 b/d for all of 2012.
OPEC crude production moved lower in May, off 20,000 b/d, to 31.87 mb/d, with reduced supply from Saudi Arabia and Iraq offset by higher output in Angola, Nigeria and Libya.
The 'call on OPEC crude and stock change' is estimated to reach 30.9 mb/d in the second half of the year, which is around 1.0 mb/d higher than in the first six months.
Industrialised nations in the OECD increased stocks by 17.3 million barrels in April, the IEA indicated. Stocks now stand at 2.64 billion barrels and are expected to increase by 20.1 million barrels in May, preliminary data indicated.
The report noted that despite a "precarious macroeconomic outlook" and ongoing Eurozone worries, prices remains at a historically high level. (end) jk.hb KUNA 131549 Jun 12NNNN