Global refining throughput will fall this year to below 2017 levels, according to the IEA. The drop comes as demand falls for transport fuels, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The organisation now sees global throughput falling by 400,000 b/d in 2020, to 81.5mn b/d, compared with a 700,000 b/d rise it forecast in its previous monthly Oil Market Report.
The downward revision is concentrated in non-OECD countries, and China in particular. The IEA lowered its forecast for non-OECD runs by 1mn b/d to 43.6mn b/d. Its forecast for Chinese throughput is 12.8mn b/d, compared with 13.1mn b/d made last month. Other regions saw significant downward revisions: the Middle East by 300,000 b/d to 7.7mn b/d, and non-OECD Asia by 200,000 b/d to 10.7mn b/d.
The IEA forecasts OECD runs at an average 37.9mn b/d in 2020, compared with 38mn b/d in the previous report.
The organisation also downgraded its global oil products demand forecasts. For the second quarter its estimate fell to 99.24mn b/d from 99.35mn b/d, for the third quarter it revised down its estimate to 100.66mn b/d from 100.77mn b/d, and fourth quarter demand was forecast at 100.88mn b/d, compared with 101.18mn b/d in the previous report.
The IEA revised down its intiial refining intake estimates for the first quarter by 1.2mn b/d from the previous report. This primarily reflects lower runs in China, where it now estimates runs at 10.1mn b/d in February — down by 2.7mn b/d on the year.
By Harry Riley-Gould