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Most of us might look at a map of the Middle East and think lots of oil.
After all, almost a third of the world's crude supply comes from this region.
Over the past year though, Saudi led strategy by OPEC to push up production
and grab back market share from US shell oil producers, has had a dramatic effect on oil prices.
Brent has fallen to nearly $30 a barrel this week.
Lower commodity imports should have some positive effects on the world economy,
particularly upon the largest developed economies.
Cheaper petrol appears to have spurred gasoline demand in the US,
the world's largest consumer, on average up nearly 4 percent last year.
Now the bad news is, what rising OPEC production could do to demand in oil exporting countries themselves?
Case in point, the Middle East, more than 9% of world oil consumption.
As you can see here and notice the change over the period from 2000.
And Saudi Arabia's economy has begun to feel the effects of this and has begun to suffer.
This year, economic output will grow at the slowest pace since 2009 according to Credit Suisse.
A budget deficit looms at 15% of GDP.
As a result, Middle Eastern oil demand could suffer.
This region, consumed nearly 9 million barrels per day in 2014 according to BP,
mostly from Saudi Arabia, Iran and the UAE.
China, the world's number two consumer, uses 11 million barrels daily,
at seasonal peaks, well over 1 million barrels per day are burnt just to generate electricity in the middle eastern region.
So any economic slowdown should lead to less power output and less oil demand.
And this regional demand is significant.
In the decade to 2014, consumption there expanded at a faster pace in percentage terms than any other region, including Asia-Pacific.
In terms of barrels per day, the Middle East oil demand growth compares with the two largest consumers as you can see here.
Meanwhile, Saudi government revenues are down enough that the ministers are even considering privatizing its state oil company Aramco.
Cuts to fuel subsidies will raise costs to consumers too.
Late last month, petrol jumped by two-thirds in Saudi Arabia although petrol remains extremely cheap there.
Still, even the UAE has also had to cut subsidies last summer.
The bear market in oil is likely to hurt oil producing economies, which in turn will diminish overall oil demand.
The Middle East is not just about oil supply.
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【金融時報】中東石油所代表的不只是供給 Mid East oil not just about supply | Short View

90 分類 收藏
Kristi Yang 發佈於 2016 年 1 月 14 日    Mandy Lin 翻譯    Kristi Yang 審核
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