By Verity Ratcliffe and Manus Cranny
The International Energy Agency expects oil consumption to grow by about 1.2 million barrels a day this year, but Wall Street has been turning more pessimistic. JPMorgan Chase & Co. sees growth of 800,000 barrels a day, which would be the lowest growth rate since 2011. If demand rises by less than 600,000 barrels a day this year, it would be the weakest since 2009, according to IEA data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration sees oil use rising by 1 million barrels a day this year, according to a monthly outlook it issued on Tuesday.
Vitol is “a little bit concerned” about growth among industrialized nations over the next 10 to 15 years, Hardy said. “Growth in the developing nations, emerging markets is going to be more interesting for us as a trading company, so we have to shift a little bit of our focus towards that.”
China’s growth is moderating, and the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing is taking a toll on demand, he said.
“The market seems to be putting its weight behind economic slowdown and trade wars and slightly under-pricing risk that supply could be interrupted,” Hardy said.
Iran on Monday said it could cause further disruptions to shipping through the Strait of Hormuz. The country has seized several vessels near the strait, a bottleneck for a third of all seaborne oil shipments, and has been accused of carrying out attacks on tankers in the area in May and June. Oil prices rose after the incidents but have since edged into bear-market territory.