2009-02-14ft.com

Fuel demand has ”plummeted” in the US and is falling in many other countries, the IEA said. Even in China, one of the countries that powered the global growth in oil demand up to 2007, the rise in consumption is expected to slow sharply.

However, the IEA also warned that sharp production cuts from Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, would mean that by the end of the year there would need to be a ”substantial” draw-down in oil stocks, unless demand weakens even further, or supply from non-Opec countries turns out to be stronger than expected.

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As demand for oil drops, the IEA warns that its estimates of oil supply capacity are also falling, as the financial crisis and the plunge in oil prices from the summer’s peak of over $147 per barrel force companies to delay or cancel planned investment in increasing or sustaining production.


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