Global oil demand forecast to fall 4.9% in 2020: Rystad

Month of April to take biggest hit as global oil demand estimated to fall by 16%

Ovunc Kutlu  | 26.03.2020 - Update : 26.03.2020
Global oil demand forecast to fall 4.9% in 2020: Rystad


Global oil demand is forecast to decline by 4.9% in 2020, compared to the previous year, Norway-based energy research center Rystad Energy said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Oil demand around the world is estimated to decrease by 4.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to reach 95 million bpd, from 99.9 million bpd in 2019.

Last week, Rystad Energy was projecting a decrease of 2.8 million bpd in global oil demand year-over-year, while this estimate was 600,000 bpd on March 12.

The month of April is expected to take the biggest hit, Rystad said, as it anticipates year-over-year global oil demand to fall nearly 16 million bpd, or 16%, next month.

"This downgrade takes into account developments that happened within last week such as the new quarantine lockdowns across the world, including India’s newly announced 21-day curfew," the statement said.

The Norway-based research center also said it now forecasts global demand for road fuels in 2020 to fall by 5.6%, or 2.8 million bpd, from the previous year to reach 46.9 million bpd in 2020. This forecast is also a downward revision from the previous estimate of a decline by 2.2%.

While Rystad expects global commercial air traffic to fall by at least 8% this year from 2019, it projects global jet fuel demand falling by almost 20% year-on-year, or by at least 1.4 million bpd, from around 7.2 million bpd in 2019. The previous estimate for a decline in annual jet fuel demand was 11% on March 12.

"Although jet fuel demand declines by 20% we see only an 8% drop in flight traffic at present. This is since most of the flights cut are the long-haul flights that are more fuel-intensive," Rystad said in the statement.

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