Global demand for oil will see its slowest growth since 2011 on account of the spread of the deadly Coronavirus or Covid-19, the International Energy Agency, IEA has said.
The forecast is bound to set alarm bells ringing in Nigeria whose economy is heavily reliant on oil prices and where oil price volatility inevitably brings unpleasant fortunes for the people.
In its monthly oil market report, the Paris based organization said it has cut its 2020 growth forecast to 825,000 barrels a day from an earlier estimate of 1.2m barrels.
“The consequences of Covid-19 for global oil demand will be significant,” IEA said Thursday.
Transport and services shutdowns in China and a halt to industrial activity are expected to hit exports and the broader economy.
The impact of the spread of the virus has already been devastating for oil prices, prompting OPEC and partner Russia to begin to discuss the idea of effecting a production cut as part of moves to bolster the oil market.
Brent the international benchmark has fallen in recent weeks from $65 in January to just under $56 today.