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Oil: The price is not right

The market wants to trade a demand slow-down of the future, while ignoring the fundamentals of the present

Until recently, 100m barrels a day of global oil-product demand seemed a distant prospect. In its World Energy Outlook , published in November 2016, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) central scenario didn't think consumers would reach this landmark before 2024. Strong recent tailwinds—particularly from China, India, the US and Europe—have, however, brought the milestone perilously close. We think it will be reached by mid-2018. The IEA isn't alone in having underestimated global demand. Take your pick from Opec, BP, ExxonMobil or any of the more oft-quoted long-term analysts: none forecast 100m b/d of demand much before 2022, with most putting its arrival between 2024 and 2026. Opec's

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