The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the virus is set to cause oil demand to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the Q1 from the same period a year ago, the first quarterly drop since the financial crisis in 2009.
Crude oil prices rose 3.4% last week, the first since early January, were spurred by hopes that stimulus measures are taken by China to support its economy, amid the coronavirus outbreak, which could lead to a recovery in oil demand in the world's largest importing country.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, cut its refinery production by 600,000 barrels per day this month. This is a 12% cut of its 5 million bpd average that it saw in 2019.
PetroChina, China’s second-largest refiner, has also cut refinery runs, by 320,000 barrels per day PetroChina has also asked Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait about the possibility of deferring its crude oil loadings or reducing volumes. This volume equates to about 10% of its 3.32 bpd of fuel production.
Altogether, IHS Market has estimated that China’s February refinery runs will take a 1.7 million bpd hit—compared to its previous expectation that refinery runs in China would increase by 760,000 bpd.
India’s fuel demand fell 0.6 percent in January compared with the same month last year. Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, totaled 18.41 million tonnes, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it is lowering the rate on 200 billion yuan ($28.65 billion) worth of one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans to financial institutions by 10 basis points (bps) to 3.15% from 3.25% previously.
Corona Virus Update:
China’s National Health Commission reported there were 105 additional deaths and 2,048 new confirmed cases as of Feb. 16.
That brings the country’s overall total to 70,548 confirmed cases, and 1,770 deaths, according to authorities.