August 13, 2020 at 12:50PM

The International Energy Agency lowered its global oil demand forecasts for the first time in several months on Thursday, as the number of Covid-19 infections remains high and amid ongoing weakness in the aviation sector.

In a closely-watched monthly report, the IEA said it now sees global oil demand for 2020 at 91.1 million barrels per day, reflecting a fall of 8.1 million barrels per day year-on-year. This revised forecast is 140,000 barrels per day lower than the IEA’s previous projection.

The agency also revised down its 2021 global oil demand estimate by 240,000 barrels per day to 97.1 million barrels per day, with jet fuel demand identified as the “major source” of weakness. The report comes shortly after the world’s largest oil and gas firms reported historic losses in the second quarter as coronavirus lockdown measures led to an unparalleled demand shock in energy markets.

Earlier this year, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol told reporters that 2020 may well come to represent the worst year in the history of oil markets.

International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $45.29 on Thursday morning, more than 0.3% lower, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $42.52, down around 0.4%. Oil prices have slipped more than 25% year-to-date.

Pandemic has ‘cast a long shadow’ over oil demand
The coronavirus outbreak “has cast a long shadow” over oil demand, the IEA said in its oil market report.

The Paris-based energy agency said aviation and transport, both essential components of oil consumption, continued to struggle in the wake of the pandemic.

It estimated aviation activity, measured in passenger kilometers, was down by around two-thirds from normal levels in July, typically one of the peak months for air traffic.

Meanwhile, mobility data for July showed that fuel demand remained below seasonal norms in Europe and North America. Those same figures were “much worse” in regions where the virus is continuing to spread fast, the IEA said, highlighting Latin America and India as two examples.

The IEA said global oil supply appeared set to fall by 7.1 million barrels per day in 2020 and rise by 1.6 million barrels per day next year. It added that oil supply rose by 2.5 million barrels per day to reach 90 million barrels per day in July, after OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia ended its voluntary production cut, the United Arab Emirates exceeded its OPEC+ target and U.S. production started to recover.

IEA sees lower oil demand in 2020, 2021 on upsurge of coronavirus cases and stalling mobility, CNBC, Aug 13

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From: The FxPro News Team
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