Feb 12, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus outbreak sparks cutback in 2020 oil demand predictions

People in the streets in surgical masks.
Photo: Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Energy Information Administration is trimming its 2020 oil demand forecast by 300,000 barrels per day, citing the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how the outbreak is changing oil market forecasts and creating headwinds for a sector already struggling with middling prices.

  • "EIA expects these oil consumption effects will be concentrated in China but some effects will show up in other countries as well," the agency said.
  • EIA's latest monthly analysis, out yesterday, now expects demand growth of 1 million barrels per day this year.

The intrigue: A range of estimates are emerging for how the outbreak could affect global oil consumption.

  • The consultancy Rystad Energy yesterday reduced their global demand growth forecast 25% to 820,000 barrels per day, but said it could fall as low as 650,000.

What's next: Tomorrow, the International Energy Agency will release its closely watched monthly market analysis.

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