NEW YORK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices fell Thursday as the International Energy Agency (IEA) expected 2013 to be the third consecutive year of weak growth in oil demand.
IEA reached its prediction based on the sharpest drop in European demand for oil since 1985. It estimated that total global oil demand for the year remained unchanged from the 90.6 million barrels a day it predicted in its March report, which only added 795,000 barrels per day more than in 2012.
A relatively strong growth in oil demand in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- 1.28 million barrels a day -- will be tempered by a contraction of 480,000 barrels a day in oil consumption in OECD members, particularly in Europe, where it will shrink by 340,000 barrels a day.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also cut its 2013 estimates this week. It slashed its global oil demand estimate for the year by 40,000 barrels a day and predicted that demand will only grow by 800,000 barrels a day this year to hit 89. 66 million barrels daily.
The weaker demand for crude oil, amid exceptionally deep seasonal maintenance at refineries, also added pressure to oil prices.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery lost 1.13 dollars, or 1.19 percent, to settle at 93.51 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for May delivery dropped 1.52 dollars, or 1.4 percent, to close at 104.27 dollars a barrel.