May 5, 2020 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

Top trader Vitol says virus might bring peak oil demand much quicker

LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) - Oil markets are at the beginning of a fragile recovery as coronavirus lockdowns ease, though long-term peak demand may be permanently eroded, Vitol’s chief executive told Reuters.

Russell Hardy, CEO of the world’s biggest oil trader, said global oil demand sank by 26-27 million barrels per day (bpd) in April and predicts a year-on-year drop of over 8 million bpd.

“The market is going to flirt with optimism and pessimism for the next two or three weeks,” Hardy said. (Reporting by Julia Payne and Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by David Evans)

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