Tuesday saw crude oil futures close six dollars lower than start of day on concerns that oil demand will slump on slowing economic growth that sparked off a broad sell-off in energy commodities. OPEC has lowered its forecast for world oil-demand growth for 2008 and 2009, plunging crude futures by over US$6 a barrel, the biggest daily drop in more than 17 years. In New York, futures ended at US$138.74 a barrel, still standing 45% higher this year.
In a monthly report released last week, the Energy Information Administration projected that U.S. petroleum consumption will shrink by 400,000 bpd in 2008, 38% more than EIA's June projection of a decline of 290,000 barrels. OPEC issued its monthly report, lowering its forecast for world oil-demand growth for 2008 to 1.03 million bpd, which represents a decline of 70,000 barrels from its previous estimate. Global oil demand this year is expected to average 86.81 million barrels a day.