Skip to main content
//empty //empty
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

The PetroChina Daqing oil field in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, seen on Nov. 5, 2007.

Stringer Shanghai/Reuters

Oil demand is set to fall year on year in the first quarter for the first time since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009 hurt by the coronavirus outbreak in China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

“The consequences of Covid-19 for global oil demand will be significant. Demand is now expected to contract by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Q1, the first quarterly decrease in more than a decade,” the Paris-based IEA said in a monthly report, using the new scientific name for the virus.

“For 2020 as a whole, we have reduced our global growth forecast by 365,000 bpd to 825,000 bpd, the lowest since 2011,” the IEA said, adding that it assumed economic activity from the second quarter would return progressively to normal.

Story continues below advertisement

In the second quarter it said it expected oil demand to grow 1.2 million barrels per day before normalising in the third quarter with growth of 1.5 million bpd on likely economic stimulus measures in China.

It forecast a fall in demand for oil produced by OPEC while output growth by U.S. companies might not be impacted until later in the year.

OPEC output in January sank to its lowest level since the 2009 global recession, the IEA said, as a blockade reduced Libyan exports and the UAE reined in production.

“With Covid-19 potentially hitting demand hard in H1, producers are under pressure to make further cuts,” it said.

OPEC, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have agreed to cut output by 1.7 million bpd until the end of March to support the market.

OPEC+ is considering holding an extraordinary policy meeting to consider deeper cuts, sources said.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies