OPEC sees steeper oil demand drop as virus remains challenging

Commodities & Futures
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person passes the OPEC logo in front of its headquarters in Vienna © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person passes the OPEC logo in front of its headquarters in Vienna

LONDON (Reuters) – World oil demand will fall more steeply in 2020 than previously forecast due to the coronavirus and recover more slowly than expected next year, OPEC said on Monday, potentially making it harder for the group and its allies to support the market.

World oil demand will tumble by 9.46 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report, more than the 9.06 million bpd decline expected a month ago.

Oil prices have collapsed as the coronavirus crisis has curtailed travel and economic activity. While some countries have eased lockdowns, allowing demand to recover, a rising number of new cases and higher oil output have weighed on prices.

OPEC also cut its demand forecast for 2021 and sees consumption rising by 6.62 million bpd, 370,00 bpd less than expected last month.

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