World oil demand in the first quarter is forecast to decline by the largest volume in history, exceeding the fall-off during the financial crisis that began in late 2008.
â€œThis is a sudden, instant demand shock, and the scale of the decline is unprecedented,â€� said IHS Markitâ€™s Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets. Because of the â€œunprecedented stoppageâ€� in Chinese economic activity during February, and the subsequent spread of Covid-19, â€œwe estimate that world oil demand in first quarter 2020 will be 3.8 million b/d lower than a year earlier,â€� representing a revision of 4.5 million b/d from estimates before the spread of Covid-19, as it is officially known.
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