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OPEC cuts 2019 oil demand growth forecast, sees more downside risk

Credit: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

OPEC on Thursday cut its forecast for growth in global oil demand due to escalating trade disputes and pointed to the risk of a further reduction, building a case for prolonged supply restraint in the rest of 2019.

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - OPEC on Thursday cut its forecast for growth in global oil demand due to escalating trade disputes and pointed to the risk of a further reduction, building a case for prolonged supply restraint in the rest of 2019.

World oil demand will rise by 1.14 million barrels per day this year, 70,000 bpd less than previously expected, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report.

"Throughout the first half of this year, ongoing global trade tensions have escalated," OPEC said in the report. "Significant downside risks from escalating trade disputes spilling over to global demand growth remain."

OPEC, Russia and other producers have implemented a deal since Jan. 1 to cut output by 1.2 million bpd. They meet on June 25-26 or in early July to decide whether to extend the pact.

Vienna-based OPEC also said its output fell in May as U.S. sanctions on Iran added to the impact of the supply-cutting pact. Production by all 14 OPEC members dropped by 236,000 bpd to 29.88 million bpd, OPEC said.

(Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Dale Hudson)

((alex.lawler@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 4087; Reuters Messaging: alex.lawler.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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