(EnergyAsia, April 30 2012, Monday) — OPEC has kept unchanged its forecast for world oil demand to rise by 900,000 b/d to reach 88.6 million b/d in 2012.
Continued strength in the emerging economies will offset weakness in the US and Europe, with the net result that the world economy is expected to grow by 3.3%, said OPEC in its monthly report for April.

It is holding its forecast for US economic growth for 2012 at 2.2% and Japan at 1.8% amid signs of recovery while the troubled Euro-zone will contract by 0.3%, worse off from OPEC’s previous call for minus 0.2%.

Despite inflation worries in the emerging economies, China’s is forecast to expand by 8.2% while India’s will rise by 6.9%.
OPEC expects US oil demand to remain uncertainty as high pump prices and the weak economy could dampen the upcoming driving season. OPEC sees hope in Japan as rising consumption is bolstering world oil markets.

The cartel expects non-OPEC oil supply to grow by 600,000 b/d in 2012, revised up by 30,000 b/d from the previous month. It attributed the increase to “healthy output” in the first few months of the year from North America, the former Soviet Union and China.