Global oil demand will be weaker in 2021 than expected, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday, as new lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic hit consumption.
The IEA said oil demand would be 600,000 barrels per day lower than previous forecasts in the first quarter of 2021 and 300,000 bpd for the full year, although it still expects a strong recovery in the second semester thanks to vaccinations. accelerate.
“It will take longer for oil demand to fully recover as new lockdowns in a number of countries weigh on fuel sales,” the IEA said in its closely watched monthly report.
“[But] global vaccine rollout puts fundamentals on a more solid course for the year.
Global global oil demand is now expected to increase from 5.5 mb / d in 2021 to 96.6 mb / d after falling from 8.8 mb / d in 2020. But it is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels of around 100 mb / d before 2022 at the earliest.
In the fourth quarter of this year, demand is expected to reach just 99 million b / d, although that implies a recovery by March of around 5 million b / d.
“Vaccination campaigns take time,” the IEA said. “We assume that vaccination campaigns will start to impact mobility and the demand for transport fuel in the second half of 2021.”
The IEA said it still sees the potential for a substantial reduction in global oil stocks this year, with Opec and its allies increasing the size of agreed production cuts intended to help balance the market and support prices. .
“Assuming Opec + is 100% compliant with the latest deal, global oil inventories could pull 1.1mb / d, or 100m barrels in the first quarter, with the potential for much larger declines over the next quarter. second half as demand strengthens ”. said the IEA.
Global oil supply is expected to increase by 1.2 mb / d in 2021 after a record drop of 6.6 mb / d last year.