Japan's energy demand is predicted to weaken over the next fiscal year starting 1 April as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic slows the country's economic activity.
Government-affiliated think-tank the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) has Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) falling by 0.5pc with a peak in coronavirus infections by the end of this month or by 1.2pc with an end-May peak scenario. The IEEJ previously projected the country's GDP to grow by 0.6pc in 2020-21 without the impact of the coronavirus.
Demand for oil products falls by 0.4pc in the March peak scenario and by 0.9pc with a May peak, with gasoline, diesel and jet fuel especially affected by the limited movement of people and goods. The IEEJ forecast in December last year the country's demand for refined products to drop by 2.5pc against a year earlier to around 2.8mn b/d in 2020-21.
Demand for electricity and city gas falls by 0.3pc each in the March peak scenario and by 0.6pc and 0.7pc respectively with a May peak. But consumption grows in the household sector, with more time spent at homes because of teleworking and school closures. Demand is expected to fall further in the commercial and industry sectors, the IEEJ said.
The IEEJ projected in December last year that Japan's electricity and city gas sales would increase by 0.4pc to 856.7mn MWh and by 0.2pc to 42.43bn m³ in 2020-21 respectively compared with a year earlier.
By Motoko Hasegawa
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