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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Standard Chartered: The Risk Of Negative Oil Demand Growth Is Rising

  • Standard Chartered analysts have forecast a 400,000 bpd reduction in global oil demand year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
  • The analysts believe positivity about Chinese oil demand may be premature, with one of China’s largest oil companies predicting a significant reduction in domestic demand.
  • Standard Chartered warned that the risk of negative growth appears to be increasing, although its forecasts growth of 1.216 million barrels per day in 2023.
oil demand

Standard Chartered analysts are now forecasting a reduction in global oil demand of over 400,000 bpd year-over-year in the fourth quarter amid increasingly bearish fundamentals. 

China is not likely to “turbo-charge” oil demand growth, according to Standard Chartered. 

“Oil prices have strengthened recently, partly on hopes that China will reopen its economy and cause a rapid turnaround in oil demand growth. We think positivity may be premature given the likely slow pace of reopening and the potential for further demand downgrades,” writes Standard Chartered in its November 8 report.

Last week, completely unsubstantiated social media reports suggesting that Beijing was preparing to ease its zero-COVID policy immediately caused Chinese stocks to soar and pushed oil prices up, despite the fact that there was no confirmation from Beijing. On the same day, Bloomberg cited a Chinese health official as saying that Beijing would “resolutely” adhere to its zero-COVID policy amid rising case numbers.

Standard Chartered also points out that “one of China’s largest oil companies” has estimated that the country’s domestic demand has fallen by more than 1 million barrels per day YoY year-to-date. That is very different from the Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) forecasts, which see a drop of only 32,000 barrels per day y/y for the full year, based on its October report. In its November 8 report, the EIA cut its world oil demand growth forecast for next year by 320,000 bpd to 1.16 million bpd, but raised 2022 oil demand growth by 140,000 bpd to 2.6 million bpd. 

The numbers from “one of China’s largest oil companies are also significantly higher than OPEC’s forecast of a 60,000 bpd drop in demand y/y for the full year.”

“The slowing of global demand has been so pronounced that China alone (15% of total demand) is unlikely to reverse it,” writes Standard Chartered.

India’s October oil demand has come in at 110,000 b/d below Standard Chartered’s forecast of 4.778 million bpd, and year-on-year growth was at an 8-month low. 

Standard Chartered’s forecast now shows a rather bearish global oil demand growth of 1.216 million barrels per day in 2023. Even that projection comes with caveats, as the analysts see “significant downside risk, particularly in the OECD”, where it forecasts growth of 128,000 bpd next year - down from 1.24 million bpd growth this year. “The risk of negative growth appears to be increasing,” Standard Chartered warns.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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  • Mike Lewicki on November 09 2022 said:
    Standard Charter always is bearish.... the demand is elastic - any price reduction spurs use and consumption.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 09 2022 said:
    With the fundamental in the global oil market intact and strong, the projection of a risk of rising negative oil demand growth in 2023 is nonsense.

    OPEC+ has already revised upwards its short term and long term global oil demand in its latest world demand outlook on 22 September. It now sees global oil demand rising to 103.0 million barrels a day (mbd) in 2023 and reaching 108.3 mbd in 2030 and 109.8 mbd by 2045.

    In fact, the projected 2022 demand figure at 101.78 will exceed 2019 by 1.415 mbd

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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