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OSLO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak will cut growth in global oil demand by a quarter this year compared to earlier forecasts, Norway’s biggest independent energy consultancy Rystad Energy predicted on Tuesday.
Oslo-based Rystad now predicts global oil demand will grow by 820,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, down from a December forecast of 1.1 million bpd.
Crude prices have fallen sharply since news of the virus outbreak first emerged in mid-January.
The outbreak will primarily affect demand in the early part of the year, with the first quarter now expected to see growth of just 100,000 bpd, before consumption recovers later in the year, Rystad argued in a research note.
“Our current assessment implies that the impact of coronavirus will persist throughout all of February and March and will then gradually subside towards June,” it added.
In a worst-case scenario however, if travel restrictions last longer, the overall impact for the year could be to lower 2020 demand growth to 650,000 bpd, the consultancy said. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Jan Harvey)