The oil market has essentially reached a balance and will continue to accelerate in the near term, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report published Tuesday, just nine days before OPEC‘s much anticipated ministerial meeting.
“In the first quarter of 2017, we might not have seen a resounding return to deficits but this report confirms our recent message that re-balancing is essentially here and, in the short term at least, is accelerating,” the IEA said.
Global oil markets are on course to reach a supply-demand balance in 2017, the IEA said, with supply deficits expected to pick up speed in the near term.
According to the IEA’s monthly report, global demand growth is poised to fall for a second consecutive year as a result of subdued gains. However, the report warned even if supply cuts are extended at OPEC’s May 25 meeting, “much work remains to be done in the second half of 2017” in order to drain stocks closer to its five-year average.
OPEC appears poised to extend oil production cuts at its upcoming meeting with most investors expecting the 13-member cartel to continue with its attempts to eliminate a global supply overhang which has depressed prices to less than half their 2014 high.
OPEC slashed output by around 1.2 million barrels per day (b/d) from January 1 for six months in order to remove a supply glut. Eleven other non-OPEC countries, including Russia, agreed to limit supply by half as much. Since the implementation of the landmark deal oil prices have soared by around 19 percent, though some analysts have questioned whether such supply cuts are likely to be effective beyond the short term.