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In the beginning of the previous week OPEC issued a new forecast for world oil demand, according to which, by the end of 2020, the decline in demand will amount to 9.77 million barrels per day - 20 thousand more than OPEC had expected in November, and 270 thousand barrels higher October assessment.

In total, the world will need 89.99 million barrels per day - the minimum volume over the past 8 years. The forecast for 2021 is also worsened - by 360 thousand barrels per day relative to the November estimate and by 660 thousand, when compared with the figure that OPEC gave in October. Next year, according to the cartel's calculations, the world will consume 95.89 million barrels per day, recovering slightly more than half of the coronavirus failure.

Now, according to OPEC estimates, the world oil market is in short of supply: in the third quarter, demand exceeded production by 1.02 million barrels per day. These volumes are leaving commercial storage facilities, which accumulated 330 million barrels of "surplus" during the spring crisis.

The beginning of vaccinations pushed oil prices up on Tuesday. The price of February futures for North Sea Brent crude oil rose by 0.5% to $ 50.54 per barrel, January futures on WTI - by 0.79% to $ 47.36 per barrel. Earlier it became known that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States reported that the safety of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does not raise concerns. So far, optimism about the appearance of a vaccine neutralizes the tightening of quarantine in many countries on the eve of Christmas and New Year. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its December report also noted that it sees a risk to global oil demand in New Year's celebrations, which could cause a new surge in COVID-19 infections and more lockdowns.

The very next day the increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus caused the decrease in oil prices, despite a drop in crude stocks in the United States. The grave epidemiological situation in the US and related quarantine measures are worrying the markets as they jeopardize the recovery in fuel demand. According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of cases of coronavirus infection in the United States has increased by more than 198 thousand people over the past day.

As a result, the trend continued until the end of the week. On Friday, the price of February futures for North Sea Brent crude oil mixture fell by 0.27% - to $ 51.36 per barrel, January futures for WTI - by 0.12%, to $ 48.3 per barrel. Reuters, commenting on the situation, quoted DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang that the prospects for the US stimulus package deal and the start of vaccinations were largely assessed by market participants and thus more or less factored into the price that made oil prices more vulnerable at the moment when profit-making starts.


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