A global “stalling of mobility,” especially in air travel, has prompted the International Energy Agency to make a slight downgrade in its forecast for oil demand in 2020. The agency said Thursday that demand would fall by 8.1 million barrels a day in 2020, 140,000 barrels lower than last month’s prediction.
“The aviation and road transport sectors, both essential components of oil consumption, are continuing to struggle,” the Paris-based forecasting group said in its monthly Oil Market Report. Overall, the I.E.A. predicts a roughly 8 percent decline in oil demand this year compared with 2019.
Air travel, in particular, is recovering slower than expected because of border closures and other restrictions. Aviation mileage was down 67 percent in July compared with a year before, only a modest recovery from the 80 percent decline in April. The agency also said that it did not expect the picture would improve “significantly soon,” and was now forecasting a 39 percent fall in jet fuel consumption for 2020 compared with 2019, while 2021 would also see only a gradual recovery.
Some areas are recovering faster. In China, demand for oil in June rose by 750,000 barrels a day compared with the same period a year before, “a remarkable feat,” the agency said.