IEA cuts forecast for global oil demand growth in backhalf 2020

Oil industry paints grimmer picture of pandemic's harm to demand

"Fragile" Outlook Sees IEA Cut Oil Demand Forecast – ShareCafe

In August, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which together are known as OPEC+, had eased its production curbs from 9.6m b/d to 7.7m b/d, while their combined output had risen by 1.3m b/d.

Navneet Damani, VP Commodities Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said, "The peak holiday driving season has ended in the USA and the rush-hour traffic is still sparse with India, the third-biggest consumer, has seen transport fuel sales remaining below 20 percent below a year ago levels last month".

"China, on the other hand, will recover completely in 2021, should current assumptions continue to hold", he added.

The Paris-based agency had earlier this year projected an estimated global oil demand of 8.1m bpd. This is a contraction of 8.4 million barrels per day year-on-year, more than the 8.1 million barrels per day contraction predicted by the agency in its August report.

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But even OPEC, which has been trying to create a floor for oil prices and balance the production, has struggled to deal with destruction in demand caused by the pandemic.

Oil price monthly chart. To the downside, if we blow through the bottom of the candlestick lows from last week, that opens up the door to much lower trading, the $35 level being the initial target, followed by the $30 level.

Oil dropped below $40 a barrel with a stronger dollar after the biggest surge since June following a surprise decline in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Echoing with Patel's view, Ravindra Rao, VP-Head Commodity Research at Kotak Securities said the focus will be on the EIA inventory report. "I think the biggest worry is what happens to the fragility of the oil producing countries". "We expect lower oil demand to keep a lid on production, and do not see any significant rally in crude oil prices, which is likely to encourage United States producers to keep oil operations limited in the second half of 2020", Bansal said. "The total U.S. oil production is expected to decline by 600,000-800,000 bpd in 2020 compared to 2019 levels", HDFC Securities' Patel said.

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Persistently weak refinery margins also provided less incentive to boost crude purchases, says IEA.

Oil prices have been below $42 (£32.11) a barrel for the past month.

"Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 18.1 million barrels a day, down by 15.5% from the same period a year ago".

Energy business, ports and refiners raced on Monday to close down as Hurricane Sally grew more powerful while lumbering towards the main U.S. Gulf Coast, the 2nd substantial typhoon to shutter oil and gas activity in the previous month.

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