The tanker is about to benefit from a potentially successful dealing with the current health crisis. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the Covid-19 virus spread around the world has obviously impacted the global oil demand while the situation remains fluid. The overall constraints in travelling and broader economic activity have resulted in the decline of global oil demand. The existing turmoil does not allow market participants to come to safe conclusions on what the final impact in the economy and total oil demand will be”.
According to Intermodal’s Katerina Restis, Tanker Chartering, “on the global supply side, record output cuts from OPEC and deep declines from other non-OPEC producers saw global oil production deteriorating. Respectively, global oil output is calculated to increase by 1.7mb/d in 2021 subject to OPEC cuts and basis Norway’s and Brazil’s deliveries. On the other hand, USA supply is estimated to decrease by almost 1 mb/d in 2020 except if further investments arise for the shale industry. The global refinery intake was close to 69 mb/d up to the end of April and overall, down by 12 mb/d on y-o-y basis. Further to that, product stocks raised sharply with OECD recording increases of oil stocks close to 4.9 md/d in April while floating storage for crude oil fell in May. Moreover, OPEC decided in June to extend their output cut close to 10 mb/d throughout July focusing on rebalancing the market. Crude prices rose in May to the highest seen in the past three months as demand resumed and global supply fell strongly. Rising prices compressed products such as diesel, jet and kerosene due to the weak outlook for the aviation industry while freight rates plunged as OPEC cuts took effect”.
The shipbroker added that “while the oil market remains fragile, the recent recovery in oil prices implies that the first half of 2020 will end in a more positive outlook than expected. On the demand side, China’s exit from lockdown restrictions has resulted in a demand recovery in April touching 2019 levels. In addition, we have witnessed a strong boost in Indians demand in May, however it is still well below year-ago levels. In the second half of the year, easing of global lockdown measures should give a boost to the oil market. Even so, demand in 2020 is expected to be 8.1 mb/d lower compared to 2019, with the biggest declines being reported in the first half of the year”.
Restis added that “the IEA has developed two scenarios on how global oil demand could evolve this year. In the more pessimistic scenario, global measures will fail to contain the virus, and global demand will fall by 730,000 b/d in 2020. In a more optimistic case, the virus is contained quickly around the world, and global demand will grow by 480,000 b/d. Covid-19 impact on oil markets may be temporary, but the longer-term challenges that suppliers will face are not going away, especially for those that are heavily dependent on both oil and gas revenues”.
“To sum up, as we are beyond the first half of 2020 and measures such as the OPEC agreement and the meeting of G20 energy ministers have provided a major contribution to the efforts for restoring stability to the market, if recent trends in production are maintained and demand does recover, the market will stabilize by the end of the second half. The short-term outlook for the oil market will ultimately depend on how quickly governments will move to contain the corona-virus outbreak, how successful their efforts will be, and what impact the global health crisis will have on economic growth”, Restis concluded.