Oil continued to trade in a narrow range on Wednesday as the International Energy Agency cut its 2024 forecast for demand growth by 140,000 barrels-a-day.

Brent futures inched toward US$83 a barrel, trading tightly so far on Wednesday, while WTI hovered above $78. Adding to the IEA’s bearish cut to demand growth was a four million barrel weekly gain in crude stockpiles in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region, Europe’s oil trading hub.

Meanwhile, crude inventories recently fell by 3.1 million barrels in the U.S. and analyst Rystad expects strong global demand for gasoline and European jet fuel.

Crude futures have gained ground this year as OPEC+ curtailed output to prevent a glut and shore up global prices. In the run-up to deciding whether to extend the curbs at a June 1 meeting, members are grappling with the thorny issue of how much oil they are capable of pumping — several major exporters are seeking to have their levels upgraded, with a view to securing the right to pump more crude in 2025.

“Price will remain range bound between $80-$90 Brent through 2Q 24,” Macquarie analysts including Vikas Dwivedi wrote in a report. After 2Q, they expect oil to become bearish, partly due to softer than anticipated demand due to persistent inflation.

The IEA’s cut to its growth forecast reflects a first-quarter demand contraction in rich countries — poor industrial activity and another mild winter sapped gasoil consumption, particularly in Europe — combined with an upward revision to estimates for 2023.

Meanwhile, OPEC+ nations participating in the group’s most recent round of oil output cuts exceeded their quotas last month.


  • Brent for July settlement rose 0.2 per cent to $82.55 a barrel at 10:52 a.m. in London.
  • WTI for June delivery climbed 0.2 per cent to $78.20 a barrel.