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OPEC has lowered its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2022 for the third time since April, citing the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, high inflation and ongoing efforts to contain a pandemic coronavirus, Reuters reported.

In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it expects oil demand to rise by 3.1 million bpd, or 3.2 percent, in 2022, 260,000 bpd below the previous forecast.

Oil demand has recovered from the worst of the pandemic and should exceed 2019 levels this year even after prices hit record highs. But high oil prices and coronavirus outbreaks in China have undermined growth forecasts for 2022.

“Global oil market fundamentals continued their strong recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels for most of the first half of 2022, albeit signs of slowing growth in the world economy and oil demand have emerged,” OPEC said in the report.

OPEC expects growth to slow further to 2.7 million bpd in 2023, leaving its forecast unchanged from last month.

OPEC+ has not achieved its planned production increase in recent months due to underinvestment in oil fields by some OPEC members and lower production in Russia.

The report showed that OPEC production broke that trend in July, increasing by 162,000 bpd to 28.84 million bpd.

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