Feb 12, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus outbreak sparks cutback in 2020 oil demand predictions

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.

Go deeper

Coronavirus throws oil demand into reverse for first time in a decade

The International Energy Agency's monthly market analysis released Thursday says global oil demand will fall by 435,000 barrels per day during this quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Why it matters: It's the first quarterly contraction in over a decade.

OPEC puts the ball in Russia's court on oil production amid coronavirus spread

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud in Vienna on March 5. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

OPEC ministers have agreed to push for deepening their joint production-cutting agreement with Russia and allied producers by 1.5 million barrels per day, per reports from Vienna.

Why it matters: The cartel is trying to grapple with how the novel coronavirus is sapping oil demand and depressing prices.

Fueled by coronavirus, global oil demand set to drop record amount

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Global oil demand in the first quarter of 2020 is expected to decline by the largest amount in recorded history, IHS Markit projected Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The decline, which is set to exceed even what occurred in the 2009 financial crisis, is being driven by the spread of the novel coronavirus and subsequent stunted economic activity in China.