Brazil, India will lead mobility recovery in 2022
Japan is experiencing second week of declining mobility
Oil demand is seen to return to 2019 levels this year
Oil demand markers in most of the world’s largest oil-consuming countries recovered in the week to February 14, according to mobility data, with markets emerging from the recent downturn due to the impact of new COVID-19-related restrictions in Asia.
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Mobility in 13 countries, which represent about half of global oil demand, was on average 9.7% below the level before COVID-19 in the week, according to adjusted Google data, compared to 14% below from the week before and up from a seasonal low of 25% below it. January 6th. The current global mobility level is comparable to 30% below the levels before COVID-19 in the same week in 2021.
The data shows a recovery in mobility to above pre-pandemic levels in India, Brazil and Mexico, although mobility in Japan fell for another week as the country remains under restrictions to curb new COVID-19 infections, which reached new heights this month due to the rapidly spreading omicron variant.
“The world has been affected by the COVID pandemic for the best part of two years, with normalization still unfolding in 2022,” Platts Analytics said in a recent note. “While COVID is not disappearing completely, Platts Analytics believes that households, businesses and governments across the globe have enough tools and have come far enough ahead of the virus to allow continued normalization of global economies.”
In India, mobility levels rose to 8.4% above pre-pandemic levels, the data show, the highest so far as the world’s third largest oil consumer returns from a massive increase in COVID-19 infection in mid-2021.
India’s oil demand is now expected to be 355,000 b / d higher in the second half compared to the first half, according to Platts Analytics, driven by a more broad-based increase in economic activity amid an improved COVID situation and growing vaccination rollouts. Overall, India’s oil demand is expected to grow by 260,000 b / di in 2022 to an average of 5.1 million b / d, up from a growth of 240,000 b / di in 2021.
In China, which is not covered by Google’s mobility data, activity is improving after the New Year holiday, and Platts Analytics expects total oil demand to increase by 3.6% or an increase of 558,000 b / di year on the back of subdued GDP forecasts and uncertainties due to Beijing’s stance on virus restrictions.
In global aviation, a proxy for aviation fuel demand, there were signs of rising confidence in travel in the week ending February 14, with the majority of regions reporting week-to-week capacity growth, airline data company OAG said.
Although global petroleum / jet demand is expected to increase by 1.5 million b / di in 2022, up from 515,000 b / di in 2021, Platts Analytics expects petroleum / jet to remain below pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future.
As seasonal mobility improves from the winter season, global oil demand is expected to increase by over 5 million b / di years during May-August.
Platts Analytics expects global oil demand to increase by 4.3 million b / di in 2022 following an expansion of 4.8 million b / di in 2021 to return to pre-pandemic levels of 103 million b / d.