Warm Winter Weighed on Oil Demand in OECD Last Quarter, IEA Says

  • Northern Hemisphere temperatures were above normal at year-end
  • OECD oil demand shrank by 375,000 b/d on quarterly basis

Finding Signs of Price, Demand Hope in Oil Markets

The unusually high temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere last quarter damped oil demand in OECD nations, affecting gasoil consumption the most, the International Energy Agency said.

Oil demand in countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shrank by 375,000 barrels a day on a quarterly basis compared with average growth of 190,000 barrels a day in the previous five years, the IEA said in its oil-market report.

“Gasoil was heaviest hit -- it is the space heating liquid fuel of choice in most OECD economies,” the agency said. While gasoil demand rose by 60,000 barrels a day from the previous quarter, that was 455,000 barrels a day below the five-year average.

The number of so-called heating-degree days declined by as much as 19 percent in the U.S. and 18 percent in Britain. Germany and France also had fewer such days.

The traditional slide in first-quarter oil demand “may ease” with the “tentative projections of cold winter weather conditions” at the start of the year, the IEA said.

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