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Trouble as IEA slashes 2021 oil demand outlook for Nigeria, others

More economic hardship appear on the way for Nigeria and other oil producers as the International Energy Agency IEA yesterday slashed its 2021 global oil demand forecast, citing soaring Covid- 19 cases and renewed lockdown measures that would further limit mobility. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter, depends majorly on proceeds from the commodity to service over 85 per cent of its budget. It set $40 per barrel as benchmark for oil in its 2021 appropriation.

The IEA however predicted a slow recovery for oil, maintaining that it now expected world oil demand to recover by 5.5 million barrels per day to 96.6 million this year. That reflects a downward revision of 0.3 million barrels from last month’s assessment and follows an unprecedented collapse of 8.8 million barrels per day last year as the coronavirus pandemic battered global oil markets.

The IEA’s latest oil market report comes as countries continue to implement strict public health measures in an attempt to curb virus spread, with lockdowns imposed in Europe and parts of China.

The Paris-based energy agency said oil demand growth was projected to fall slightly during the first three months of the year in the wake of tougher government plans that call for additional travel restrictions.

This is expected toMore economic hardship appear on the way for Nigeria and other oil producers as the International Energy Agency IEA yesterday slashed its 2021 global oil demand forecast, citing soaring Covid- 19 cases and renewed lockdown measures that would further limit mobility. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil exporter, depends majorly on proceeds from the commodity to service over 85 per cent of its budget.

It set $40 per barrel as benchmark for oil in its 2021 appropriation. The IEA however predicted a slow recovery for oil, maintaining that it now expected world oil demand to recover by 5.5 million barrels per day to 96.6 million this year.

That reflects a downward revision of 0.3 million barrels from last month’s assessment and follows an unprecedented collapse of 8.8 million barrels per day last year as the coronavirus pandemic battered global oil markets.

The IEA’s latest oil market report comes as countries continue to implement strict public health measures in an attempt to curb virus spread, with lockdowns imposed in Europe and parts of China. The Paris-based energy agency said oil demand growth was projected to fall slightly during the first three months of the year in the wake of tougher government plans that call for additional travel restrictions. This is expected to curb worldwide mobility once again, prompting the IEA to trim its firstquarter forecast for oil demand growth to 94.1 million barrels per day. That would see oil demand return to near year-ago levels and reflects a downward revision of 0.6 million barrels from December’s oil market report.

“The global vaccine roll-out is putting fundamentals on a stronger trajectory for the year, with both supply and demand shifting back into growth mode following 2020′s unprecedented collapse,” the IEA said in its closelywatched report.

“But it will take more time for oil demand to recover fully as renewed lockdowns in a number of countries weigh on fuel sales,” it added. Oil prices have rallied in recent weeks, supported by optimism over COVID- 19 vaccine rollouts and a surprise oil production cut from OPEC kingpin, Saudi Arabia. However, the relatively slow pace of inoculations has raised doubts over how soon economies can recover.

International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $55.26 a barrel yesterday morning, up more than 0.9 per cent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $52.51, around 0.3 per cent higher. Both benchmarks fell more than 2.2 per cent in the previous session, notching their worst daily performance since December 21.

 

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