Solid demand growth in China, India and emerging Asian economies including the Middle East, is the key factor that will shape world oil markets and prices in 2010, experts said at the Oil & Petrochemicals Market Briefing.
“Growing confidence in a global economic recovery had inspired hopes of rising oil demand in early 2010, but the Eurozone crisis and a strengthening dollar have encouraged continuing volatility in oil prices,” said Malcolm Wall Morris, CEO, DMCC. “We anticipate that long-term demand growth in China, India, emerging Asian economies and the Middle East region will be the key factors determining the shape of oil markets and prices through this year.” The various factors that have impacted oil prices, include currently high inventories of oil products, excess shipping and refining capacity available from the 2008-2009 demand dip, and increasing prominence of China and India as oil products exporters. Rapid growth in downstream projects for refineries and product blending and upgrading will continue to enhance the roles of Jebel Ali and Fujairah in Dubai as major oil trading and storage hubs.
Kate Dourian, Middle East Editor at Platts, spoke about the likelihood of constrained production in the future. She, however, highlighted the prospects of strong demand due to renewed growth in China and elsewhere in Asia. She also examined the effects of simmering geo-political tensions, demand-supply projections and the role of Iraq in helping to meet future demand during her address. Quintella Koh, Managing Editor, Asia Petrochemicals at Platts, spoke about the market outlook for ethylene, propylene and polymers in 2011 with a focus on Asian markets, including China, India, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.