OPEC chops oil demand forecast over coronavirus

PARIS, France – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) chopped on Wednesday, March 11, its forecast for oil demand this year on the impact of the coronavirus and warned it may do so again.

In its latest monthly report, OPEC lowered its forecast for global average daily demand by 0.92 million barrels to 99.73 million barrels.

That sees average daily global demand still rising by 60,000 barrels per day, but OPEC said, "Considering the latest developments, downward risks currently outweigh any positive indicators and suggest further likely downward revisions in oil demand growth, should the current status persist."

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has already caused massive economic disruption in China and beyond as authorities impose measures to try to contain its spread, hitting demand for oil.

Oil markets have also been roiled by an escalating price war led by Saudi Arabia against Russia.

Last week, Russia rejected a Saudi-led proposal to deepen production cuts to support oil prices as demand falls.

In response, Saudi Arabia announced discounts and production increases, leading to steep falls in oil prices on international markets. (READ: Oil price plunge: Winners and losers– Rappler.com