OPEC stuck to its forecast for a strong recovery in world oil demand in the rest of 2021 and predicted oil use would rise further in 2022 similar to pre-pandemic rates, led by growth in China and India.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report on Thursday that demand next year would rise by 3.4% to 99.86 million barrels per day (bpd), averaging more than 100 million bpd in the second half of 2022.
Oil demand averaged 99.98 million bpd in 2019, according to OPEC.
"In 2022, healthy expectations for global economic growth in addition to improved containment of COVID-19 through the acceleration of vaccination programmes, effective treatment and natural immunisation, particularly in emerging and developing countries, along with frequent testing procedures, are assumed to spur consumption of oil next year to comparable pre-pandemic levels," OPEC said in the report.
The report reflected OPEC's confidence that world demand would recover robustly from the pandemic, allowing the group and its allies to further ease record supply curbs made in 2020. Some analysts had seen oil demand peaking in 2019.
OPEC also maintained its prediction that demand would grow by 5.95 million bpd in 2021.
Oil was trading just below $74 a barrel before the OPEC report was released. The price has climbed more than 40% so far this year with the help of supply cuts by OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+.
OPEC+ agreed in April to gradually ease output cuts from May to July and has yet to decide on plans for the rest of 2021 after a dispute between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates disrupted talks. Reuters reported on Wednesday that the two had reached a compromise.
Thursday's report showed higher OPEC oil output, reflecting the decision to pump more. Output in June rose 590,000 bpd to 26.03 million bpd, OPEC said.