(EnergyAsia, February 19 2013, Tuesday) — The International Energy Agency (IEA) now expects world oil demand growth to rise by 845,000 b/d to reach 90.715 million in 2013, down slightly from its previous forecast for it to reach 90.8 million b/d.

In its latest February monthly report, the Paris-based agency said world oil demand will grow at a slightly slower pace, but will still breach the 90-million-b/d barrier for the first time. The world consumed 89.87 million b/d of oil last year.

The IEA said a weaker outlook global economic growth will offset improvements in China and the US to slow down the pace of oil consumption growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed its latest forecast for world GDP growth for 2013 to 3.5% from 3.6% previously.

Despite the reduction, the IEA’s latest forecast still indicates underlying strength in the oil markets as shown by Brent prices holding firm above US$118 a barrel and WTI at well over US$95.

In November, the agency had forecast the world to consume 89.6 million b/d in 2012 and 90.4 million b/d in 2013.

On the supply front, the IEA said global production fell by 300,000 b/d in January to 90.8 million b/d. Non-OPEC production slipped by 190,000 b/d from the previous month to 54.2 million b/d.

In January, OPEC crude supply fell by 100,000 b/d from December to a 12-month-low of 30.34 million b/d despite slightly higher output in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.