Europe decoupling in oil demand, and more

Barclays Capital analysts looked at fresh 2009 data from JODI, the joint initiative by Opec, the IEA and several other agencies, and found evidence that European oil demand is showing a very different pattern to Asia and America.

In the first half of the year, they wrote, all OECD regions were weak. But in the second (emphasis ours):

…the y/y decline in North American demand was a milder 0.45 mb/d, and in Asia-Pacific it was just 0.21 mb/d. In other words, the relative swing in the y/y pattern from H1 to H2 was an improvement of just over 1 mb/d in North America and of just over 0.5 mb/d in Asia-Pacific. In stark contrast, the y/y decline deepened in Europe, reaching 0.98 mb/d, which in relative terms was more than 0.5 mb/d worse than in H1.

The source of the decline was diesel and residual oil products:

Diesel went from a y/y increase of 0.04 mb/d in H1 to a decline of 0.44 mb/d in H2; resid went from a y/y decline of 0.09 mb/d in H1 to a decline of 0.24 mb/d in H2. The source of the relative improvement outside Europe was primarily gasoline, together with industrial and petrochemical feedstocks. Overall, the impact of the economic cycle on the OECD oil demand pattern was similar in North America and Asia-Pacific, but starkly different in Europe.

In fact in a global economics note last week, BarCap analysts pondered whether macroeconomic data demonstrate a European decoupling in the broader world economy.

Something to think about.

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