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IEA Lowers Oil Demand Forecast for 2021 Due to Lingering Economic Challenges

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The IEA Cuts Global Oil Demand Growth Forecast for 2023

Worsening Economic Outlook Affects Oil Demand

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reduced its global oil demand growth forecast for 2023 due to a worsening economic outlook, which is particularly impacting wealthy countries. The IEA now predicts that global oil demand will increase by 2.2 million barrels per day to reach an average of 102.1 million barrels per day. This forecast represents a downward revision from last month's report, which projected an increase of 2.4 million barrels per day. The manufacturing slump and the tightening of monetary policy in many advanced and developing countries are contributing to the pressure on world oil demand.

China to Drive Demand Growth

According to the IEA, China will account for 70% of the increase in demand growth. Despite the revision in the growth estimate, the agency expects China's demand to continue rising. However, the challenging economic environment and the shift towards monetary policy tightening have led to a reassessment of the overall growth forecast for 2023. The persistence of these macroeconomic headwinds, coupled with the transition towards vehicle fleet electrification and efficiency measures, may further slow down demand growth in the future.

Expectations for 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, the IEA anticipates demand growth to slow even further, reaching only 1.1 million barrels per day. This projection is based on the belief that the global economic recovery will lose momentum and that electric vehicle adoption and efficiency measures will gain traction. The IEA has previously stated that global oil demand is expected to peak before the end of the decade as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

Oil Prices and Market Reaction

The release of the IEA's revised forecast comes at a time when recent economic and inflation data in the United States have sparked hopes of an impending end to the Federal Reserve's rate hiking cycle. As a result, oil prices traded slightly higher on the day of the report's release. Brent crude futures with September expiry rose by 0.4% to $80.42 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures with August delivery increased by 0.3% to trade at $75.98 a barrel. The market is closely monitoring economic indicators and central bank actions for further guidance on oil demand and prices.

Implications for a New Business

The IEA's revised forecast on global oil demand growth for 2023 has important implications for new businesses, particularly those operating in the energy sector or reliant on oil-dependent industries. Here are some key takeaways:

1. Shift towards Renewable and Electric Technologies

With the global transition towards vehicle fleet electrification and efficiency measures gaining momentum, new businesses should consider aligning their offerings with renewable energy sources and electric technologies. Investing in research and development or partnerships in these areas can position a company for long-term success as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

2. Focus on Emerging Markets

While the IEA's revision highlights a challenging economic environment in wealthy countries, it's worth noting that China is expected to drive a significant portion of the increase in oil demand growth. Therefore, new businesses may find opportunities in emerging markets, where demand for oil and energy is expected to continue rising. Developing strong partnerships and market strategies in these regions can help mitigate the impact of slower growth in other parts of the world.

3. Long-Term Planning and Risk Management

The IEA's projection that global oil demand growth will slow further in 2024 emphasizes the need for new businesses to adopt a long-term planning approach and an effective risk management strategy. Companies should carefully analyze market trends, especially in relation to renewable energy adoption, and diversify their offerings or explore alternative revenue streams to mitigate potential future disruptions in oil demand.

Overall, the IEA's updated forecast underscores the urgency for new businesses to adapt to the changing energy landscape. By embracing renewable technologies, focusing on emerging markets, and implementing strategic planning and risk management, businesses can position themselves to thrive in a future where oil demand is anticipated to peak and decline.

Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/13/oil-iea-trims-demand-forecast-on-persistent-economic-concerns.html

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