Global oil demand will fall by a record amount this year as lockdown measures imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak bring the economy to a virtual halt, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated.
For 2020 overall, demand will fall by 9.3 million barrels per day (mbd), with April alone down 29 mbd from a year earlier to levels last seen in 1995, the IEA said in its latest monthly report.
However, measures taken to bolster the global economy and to reduce oil supply should allow a "gradual" recovery in the second half of the year, it said.
The IEA said "the global economy is under pressure in ways not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s," warning that even if restrictions are eased later this year, the 2020 fall in demand of 9.3 mbd will erase "almost a decade of growth."
For April, the IEA expects a fall in demand of up to 29 mbd year-on-year, followed by 26 mbd in May and 15 mbd in June.
The IEA warned that "there is no feasible agreement that could cut supply by enough to offset such near-term demand losses. However, the past week's achievements are a solid start and have the potential to start to reverse the build-up in stocks as we move into the second half of the year."