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, 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.
"Risks remain elevated and tilted to the downside, particularly related to the development of COVID-19 infection cases as well as possible cures,” OPEC said of the 2021 outlook. “Increased usage of teleworking and distance conferencing is estimated to limit transportation fuels from fully recovering to 2019 levels.”
That means demand will rebound more slowly than expected next year. OPEC sees consumption rising in 2021 by 6.62 million bpd, 370,00 bpd less than expected last month.