Oil demand in China fell by three million barrels per day or 20% of the total consumption during the crisis caused by the spread of a new type of coronavirus.
This was reported by Bloomberg citing sources familiar with the situation in the energy sector, reports Today.
It is noted that this is the largest reduction in demand on the world market after the crisis of 2008-2009 and the most sudden after the recession caused by the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 in the United States. Currently, China is the largest importer of oil, it consumes about 14 million barrels per day, which is equal to the total demands of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan and South Korea.
Lower demand in China may trigger a reaction from OPEC countries and their allies, who consider the possibility of convening extraordinary meetings. Earlier it was reported that the technical Committee OPEC+ moved the meeting from March to February 4-5, due to the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Bloomberg, the price of Brent crude has fallen more than 10% since January 20, when the markets began to respond to this crisis. Last week stopped supplies of oil to China from Latin America, also reduced supplies from countries in West Africa. The volume of oil refining at Chinese factories can also be reduced by 15-20% in the near future, said Agency sources. In particular, the largest Chinese oil company Sinopec has lowered processing of 13-15% and plans further cuts.
On Friday, January 31, the cost of the futures on Brent crude for delivery in April 2020 on the ICE exchange in London for the first time since August 7, 2019 decreased on 2,45% – to 55.93 USD. per barrel amid news about the spread of the novel coronavirus. The price of the March futures for WTI crude oil fell 1.80% to of 51.14 USD. per barrel.