U.S.-China Trade Battle Is Crimping Global Oil Demand

Worries about the health of the economy and increasingly uncertain trade relations between the U.S. and China will put further pressure on global oil demand in 2019, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

In its closely watched oil-market report, the IEA downgraded its forecast for global oil-demand growth for the third time in four months, lowering it to 1.1 million barrels a day from 1.2 million barrels a day. Demand for the January-to-May period was at its weakest since 2008.

While geopolitical tensions remain elevated in the Middle East between Western and Iranian naval forces, the IEA’s main focus was the economy.

The agency has expressed growing alarm over the impact of the trade battle between the U.S. and China on both economic and “very sluggish” global oil demand growth, having cut its forecast in May and June.

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