Oil consumption will fall 6.8% this year due to the coronavirus crisis



The world will consume an average of 92.82 million barrels of crude oil per day (mbd) this year, 6.8% less than in 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a drop in demand that OPEC describes as " historical "and" unprecedented "in its market analysis published this Thursday.

"The current world situation, pushed by the start of COVID-19 at the beginning of the year in China, and in the rest of the world in March 2020, seems to represent the perfect storm of demand destruction," says the Organization of Exporting Countries of Oil (OPEC) in its report, in which it warns that there are risks that the decrease in consumption will be even greater.

In its April report, published in Vienna, OPEC radically downgrades the calculations made just a month ago to bring demand to its lowest value since 2015.

"For 2020, the forecast of increased demand is revised downwards by 6.9 mbd, to a historical drop of around 6.8 mbd" compared to 2019, indicate the experts of the group, to which 13 countries belong.

Although the impact is felt throughout the year and in all regions, OPEC calculations show a special incidence in the first quarter in China and in the second quarter in the group of more industrialized countries, with higher falls 18% with respect to the same periods and areas.

OPEC analysts highlight the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on fuel consumption for transportation and industries.

"Emergency closings in many areas, with which governments seek to contain the expansion of COVID-19 in the US, Europe, parts of Asia, the Middle East and other regions, are expected to substantially reduce the distances traveled and thus affect negatively to the growth of the demand in the second quarter of 2020 ", indicates the report.

Although the forecast is for demand to recover progressively in the second half of the year, always below the 2019 values, OPEC warns that "the great uncertainties" in the future make the risks of falling demand significant and "they suggest the possibility of further adjustments."

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