Global oil demand is expected to decline in 2020 as a result of the impact of coronavirus,
That’s according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest oil market forecast, which estimates annual demand at 99.9 million barrels a day in 2020, down around 90,000 barrels a day from 2019.
This is a decline from the IEA’s forecast in February, which predicted global oil demand would grow by 825,000 barrels a day in 2020.
The IEA has developed two other scenarios for how global oil demand could evolve this year. In a more pessimistic low case, global measures fail to contain the virus and global demand falls by 730,000 barrels a day in 2020. In a more optimistic high case, the virus is contained quickly around the world and global demand grows by 480,000 barrels a day.
Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said: “The coronavirus crisis is affecting a wide range of energy markets – including coal, gas and renewables – but its impact on oil markets is particularly severe because it is stopping people and goods from moving around, dealing a heavy blow to demand for transport fuels.
“This is especially true in China, the largest energy consumer in the world, which accounted for more than 80% of global oil demand growth last year. While the repercussions of the virus are spreading to other parts of the world, what happens in China will have major implications for global energy and oil markets.
“The impact of the coronavirus on oil markets may be temporary. But the longer-term challenges facing the world’s suppliers are not going to go away, especially those heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues.”