PARIS: Global oil demand is expected to grow slower than previously forecast this year as the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has prompted lockdowns in major consuming countries, the International Energy Agency said Thursday (Aug 12).
Demand surged in June as mobility increased in North America and Europe.
But it "abruptly reversed course" in July as the Delta variant undermined deliveries in China, Indonesia and other parts of Asia, the IEA said in a monthly report.
"The outlook for the remainder of the year has also been appreciably downgraded due to the worsening of the pandemic and revisions to historical data," the report said.
"New COVID-19 restrictions imposed in several major oil consuming countries, particularly in Asia, look set to reduce mobility and oil use."
The agency now forecasts demand rising by 5.3 million barrels per day in 2021 to 96.2 mbd. That is down 300,000 bpd from its previous estimations.
Global output, meanwhile, is expected to rise further after the OPEC group of major oil producers and its allies agreed to boost production, the IEA said.
With US petrol prices rising, the White House complained on Wednesday that the production increase by the OPEC+ group was "simply not enough" to fuel the global economic recovery from the pandemic.