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During the 47th meeting of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC), OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo noted that crude oil demand will shift from reverse to forward gear and rise to 95.9 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, a gain of 5.9 million bpd from 2020.

Even so, the OPEC leader also raised concerns over the inventory levels while saying that inventory levels show positive momentum – though they remain stubbornly high. “Preliminary November data shows total OECD commercial oil stocks fell by around 24.8 million barrels m-o-m. The current levels are more than 205 million barrels higher than the same time one year ago and about 163 million barrels above the latest five-year average,” the official said.

Market implications

While oil traders are yet to return from their year-end holidays, cautiously positive comments from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary Barkindo can favor the energy benchmark ahead of Monday’s full-fledged OPEC+ meeting. It’s worth mentioning that the WTI holds gains above $48.00 off-late.