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China fuels increase in global oil demand: IEA

PARIS (AFP) – World oil demand will rise slightly more than expected this year as China’s appetite for the fossil fuel hit a record and the Israel-Hamas war did not hit supply flows, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday.

The Paris-based organisation said global demand is forecast to hit an all-time high in 2024, although it will grow at a sharply slower pace. “World oil demand continues to exceed expectations,” the IEA said in its monthly oil market report.

The IEA said demand from China, the world’s top importer of crude and its second biggest economy, reached another record high at 17.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in September.

Global oil demand is now forecast to reach 102 million bpd in 2023, the IEA said.

China is expected to account for 1.8 million bpd of the 2.4 million bpd increase in world demand. Demand is expected to grow by 940,000 bpd in 2024.

“Despite growth that is almost two-thirds lower than this year’s increase, global oil demand is set to rise to a record annual high” of 102.9 million bpd in 2024, the IEA said.

The war in the Gaza Strip, which began last month, raised concerns of a wider Middle East conflict that would disrupt the flow of oil supplies. But the IEA said “there has been no material impact on oil supply flows from the war between Israel and Hamas”.