RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Global oil demand fell for a second month in a row in May as crude oil prices remained above $100 per barrel, according to new data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
In Russia, subject to tightening sanctions after it invaded Ukraine in February, crude oil production increased by 121 kb/d month-on-month in May to 9.45 mb/d, but it was still 785 kb/d below February 2022 levels, the data showed.
“High prices and economic weakness could be driving oil demand lower, but we still have a long way to go before the market returns to balance as inventories are still very depleted,” said Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum, which coordinates JODI data.
Global oil demand (excluding China) fell by 730 kb/d month-on-month in May to 1.7 mb/d below pre-pandemic levels while crude oil production declined by 135 kb/d, and stocks showed a net 8 mb draw, the data showed.
Oil demand dropped to 96 percent of 2019 levels in May as consumption softened across North America, northern Europe, and India. Meanwhile, crude oil production was at 96 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. Seasonal product inventory builds were offset by crude inventory draws.
Despite the relative easing of oil market tightness in May, global crude and product inventories remain nearly 445 million barrels (mb) below the five-year average.
Demand for natural gas in the European Union plus United Kingdom was down 21% year-on-year while LNG imports were up 32% y/y, the data shows. The countries that saw the largest drop in natural gas demand (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, and Poland) all increased gas inventories in May.
The JODI oil and gas databases were updated on Tuesday with more than 50 countries reporting data for the latest month of May 2022. The May data submissions account for more than 65 percent of global oil demand and global crude production.
Highlights for May oil data include:
- Aggregate total
- Oil demand and crude production were both at 96 percent of 2019 levels.
- Jet fuel demand continues to recover steadily, but it remains 18 percent below 2019 levels.
- Product inventories increased by 27 mb and are now 110 mb below the five-year average.
- Crude inventories resumed declines after building from February through April. They decreased by 35 mb in May and are now 335 mb below the five-year average.
- Saudi Arabia
- Crude production increased by 97 kb/d to 10.54 mb/d.
- Crude exports decreased by 332 kb/d to 7.05 mb/d – a four-month low. Product exports increased by 54 kb/d to 1.47 mb/d.
- Direct burn of crude oil increased by 185 kb/d to 582 kb/d in May. It was 131 kb/d above year-ago levels.
- Crude production increased by 121 kb/d month-on-month to 9.45 mb/d, but it was still 785 kb/d below February 2022 levels.
- Refinery intake increased by 54 kb/d to 5.01 mb/d.
- Crude imports increased by 320 kb/d m/m to 10.82 mb/d and were up 1.15 mb/d from year-ago levels.
- Product exports fell by 170 kb/d in May to 825 kb/d and were 524 kb/d below year-ago levels.
- United States:
- Total product exports increased by 603 kb/d to 6.18 mb/d.
- Crude inventories fell by 28.6 mb to 938 mb and are now at their lowest level since 2004. Product inventories increased by 15.7 mb to 634.7 mb.
Highlights for May natural gas data include:
- Natural gas demand was at 96 percent of year-ago levels while production was in line with 2021 levels.
- Russian gas production has fallen for two consecutive months and is down 15% from March levels.
- Total LNG exports were up 11% year-on-year and at an all-time high. Australian LNG exports hit a record high of 10 bcm in May.
- Gas inventories increased by 28.5 bcm and stood 16.1 bcm below the five-year average.