OPEC released its Monthly Oil Market Report on Wednesday.   Although the March report projected higher demand for oil than the February report, OPEC remains cautious as key global economic issues remain unresolved.


For 2010 global oil demand, the organization revised upward its outlook by 100,000 from its February figure, projecting growth of 900,000 barrels per day in 2010.

Demand from OECD countries is expected to shrink while demand from China and the Middle East is expected to increase. 

OPEC sees global demand in the traditionally weak second quarter as particularly challenging.

Current OPEC production is likely to exceed market needs, the report warned.

Projection for world economic growth in 2010 remains unchanged at 3.4 percent.  China is expected to grow 9.3 percent, the U.S. 2.4 percent, and Japan 1.3 percent.

Economic Worries

OPEC warned that the global economy continues to be mostly supported by the governmental-led stimulus. 

Concerns remain regarding the level of public debt in almost all OECD regions, record-high unemployment levels across the globe and the ability of China to avoid an overheating, the report added.

The above statement touches upon the three key themes that have dominated the global economy in 2010, namely Europe's sovereign debt worries, America's unemployment, and China's monetary tightening.

From the latest U.S. data, OPEC sees concerns arising from the weakness of the housing sector, slowing manufacturing growth, and the historically high unemployment.

For the euro zone, OPEC is troubled by Greece's fiscal problems and the sluggish GDP growth figures in the fourth quarter of 2009.