The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Oil Market Report – April 2020. The agency said:
“Around the world billions of people are affected by one of the worst health crises of the past century. The global economy is under pressure in ways not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s; businesses are failing and unemployment is surging. Confinement measures are in place in 187 countries and territories, and although they vary in scope, activity in the transportation sector has fallen dramatically almost everywhere. Even assuming that travel restrictions are eased in the second half of the year, we expect that global oil demand in 2020 will fall by 9.3 million barrels a day (mb/d) versus 2019, erasing almost a decade of growth.“
• Global oil demand is expected to fall by a record 9.3 mb/d year-on-year in 2020. The impact of containment measures in 187 countries and territories has been to bring mobility almost to a halt. Demand in April is estimated to be 29 mb/d lower than a year ago, down to a level last seen in 1995. For 2Q20, demand is expected to be 23.1 mb/d below year-ago levels. The recovery in 2H20 will be gradual; in December demand will still be down 2.7 mb/d y-o-y.
• Global oil supply is set to plunge by a record 12 mb/d in May, after OPEC+ forged a historic output deal to cut production by 9.7 mb/d from an agreed baseline level. As April production was high, the effective cut is 10.7 mb/d. Additional reductions are set to come from other countries with the US and Canada seeing the largest declines. Total non-OPEC output falls could reach 5.2 mb/d in 4Q20, and for the year as a whole output may be 2.3 mb/d lower than last year.
• Refining throughput in 2020 is forecast to fall 7.6 mb/d y-o-y to 74.3 mb/d on sharply reduced demand for fuels. Global refinery intake is expected to plummet by 16 mb/d y-o-y in 2Q20, with widespread run cuts and shutdowns in all regions. Although refinery runs are falling, product stocks are still expected to build by 6 mb/d. In 2H20, refining activity will slowly recover as the global market moves into deficit.
• Early data show China’s implied stock build in 1Q20 at 2.1 mb/d, and US stocks increased by 0.5 mb/d. OECD data show that industry stocks in February fell by 35.4 mb to 2 878 mb as a draw for products more than offset a build in crude. Total OECD oil stocks stood 42.4 mb below the five-year average and, due to the weak outlook, now provide 79.2 days of forward demand coverage. In March, floating storage of crude oil increased by 22.9 mb (0.7 mb/d) to 103.1 mb.
• Twin demand and supply shocks caused oil futures prices to fall by 40% in March. Brent has recovered modestly from an 18-year low as producers reached agreement to curtail output and is trading at $31/bbl. Weak demand pushed prices for crude grades such as WTI Midland and West Canadian Select below $10/bbl. Cracks for gasoline and jet fuel continued to suffer as containment measures were introduced.
The IEA concluded:
“There is clearly a long way to go before we can put the Covid-19 crisis behind us. However, we are encouraged by the solidarity shown by policy makers from producing and consuming countries working together to meet this historic challenge of bringing stability to the oil market.”
(Source: IEA – Image: wellsite in North Dakota)