S&P Global Platts editors also look at prospects for US crude exports to Asia, Ukraine's importance to the European gas market this summer, and the impact of reduced French nuclear availability on power markets.
What's happening? Global oil demand is recovering from a record, 20 million b/d slump in April but not all fuels have suffered equally from sweeping lockdowns to combat the spread of coronavirus. Road and air transport fuels are on the frontline of the demand impact, suffering massive year-on-year contractions due to the curbs on travel and social movements. Estimates from S&P Global Platts Analytics show US gasoline demand is by far the biggest casualty accounting for almost half of the 2.6 million b/d global impact for the key driving fuel. It is the grounding of thousands of flights globally, however, that will see jet fuel take the largest hit by market share with almost a quarter of jet demand disappearing this year.
What's next? Oil market watchers are closely tracking so-called high-frequency data sources, such as road congestion, to gauge the pace – and potential stalling – of the global oil demand recovery this year. Central to the focus has become the potential for a second-wave of COVID-19 infections which could severely delay the expected return of oil demand to its pre-crisis trajectory. Demand sensitivities from efforts to restrict and track passenger movements as international air travel slowly resumes are also a key pointer to when the tail end of the pandemic's shadow over energy markets may fully lift.