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July 10, 2020, 4:58 a.m. EDT

IEA slightly improves oil demand forecast for 2020, but says much hinges on Covid-19

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By Barbara Kollmeyer

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday predicted slightly improved global oil demand for 2020, but said much hinges on the progression of the pandemic. "The recent increase in Covid-19 cases and the introduction of partial lockdowns introduces more uncertainty to the forecast," the global energy authority said in its July report. The IEA estimates that global oil demand this year will average 92.1 million barrels per day, down by 7.9 million barrels per day versus 2019, a slightly smaller decline than forecast in the last report. "This is mainly because the decline in 2Q20 was less severe than expected," it said. For 2021, demand will be 97.4 mb/d; but due to the improved outlook for 2020 the recovery next year is lower at 5.3 mb/d. Crude prices remained under pressure, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 1.7% to $38.93 a barrel and Brent crude, the international benchmark, off 1.3% to $41.77 a barrel.

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