Credit Suisse: The Death of Oil Demand has been Greatly Exaggerated


Even as U.S. oil production started to slide in the second half of 2015, the downside risks to oil prices continued to dominate. In the third quarter, broad-based manufacturing softness and financial market turmoil threatened to derail growth in developed markets, bringing some focus back to the demand side of the ledger. Annual oil demand growth proceeded to drop off in the fourth quarter from above 2 percent to 1.2 percent with acute cracks in China and advanced economies, seemingly confirming analysts' worst fears.

But Credit Suisse Group AG Global Energy Economist Jan Stuart concludes that oil demand "growth appears to be re-accelerating" in 2016, with the recent bout of softness attributable to a warm winter, subdued activity in resource-extracting industries, and persistent weakness in select sputtering emerging markets like Russia and Brazil.

"Oil demand growth is alive and well," he writes in a recent note. "We think that with hindsight this winter will look like a dip in an otherwise still unfolding fairly strong growth trend that is partly fueled by the ongoing economic recovery of in North America and Europe and longer standing trends across key emerging market economies." (by Luke Kawa, Bloomberg)