Coronavirus could shrink oil demand for first time in a decade

15 Février, 2020, 10:24 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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In its monthly oil market report, the International Energy Agency cuts the 2020 oil demand growth forecast by 365,000 bpd to 825,000 bpd on coronavirus outbreak, the lowest since 2011.

"The Russians have pretty much signalled that everyone is on board for OPEC+ delivering deeper production cuts", said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA Corporation in NY. It is expected that world demand in 2020 will increase by 1.03 million barrels per day to 101,74 million barrels per day. But the country is now expected to account for less than a fifth of this year's global consumption growth, the agency said.

The intergovernmental body known as the IEA expects demand to drop by 435,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a year before because of disruptions from the virus, which causes a disease recently given the name COVID-19.

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That said, the agency says that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak will be felt by the oil market throughout the year and it is "hard to be precise about the impact" now.

The outbreak has shuttered businesses and prompted the quarantine of tens of millions of people in China, the world's biggest crude importer.

Oil refiner China National Chemical Corp said on Thursday that it would close a 100,000 bpd plant and cut processing at two others amid falling fuel demands. Analysts said raising of bets by participants kept crude prices higher in futures trade here. However, Russia, the kingdom's most important partner in managing supplies, has so far resisted the initiative. Any fall would represent the first quarterly decline in a decade. Last month, OPEC was already pumping the least crude since the financial crisis of 2009, according to the IEA. That industry is likely to remain resilient against the price slump until later in the year, it predicted.

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