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Middle East Oil Demand in January 2015

Source: OPEC 1/27/2015, Location: Middle East

In Saudi Arabia, November oil demand was characterized by increases across the barrel with “other products” and fuel oil leading by more than 61% and 27% y-o-y, respectively. Demand for fuel oil for power generation continued to increase, despite the end of the fuel oil demand season, as it seems to have been preferred over direct crude burning for power generation. In addition, strong growth in transportation fuels gasoline and diesel was apparent, supported by gains in auto sales; 4Q14 data show an increase in auto sales of more than 5% y-o-y.

Oil demand in Iraq continued its declining trend in November, losing more than 40 tb/d or just below 7% y-o-y. Year-to-date it is now firmly in the negative, with a drop in consumption of just below 6% compared with the same period in 2013. Consumption in Iraq steadily increased in 2013 until mid-2014, prior to the rise of geopolitical concerns in the country.

The outlook for 2015 Middle East oil demand depends very much on the level of the overall economy and government spending plans, with risk slightly skewed to the downside. For 2014, Middle East oil demand growth is anticipated to hover around 0.26 mb/d, while oil demand in 2015 is projected to grow by 0.29 mb/d.

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