Russia and China are “wild cards” that will “dominate” the global oil market outlook this year, the International Agency said, Ben writes.

Driving the news: IEA this morning issued an upward revision of 2023 demand estimates as China’s easing of COVID restrictions helps push up consumption.

The agency sees global demand rising by 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) this year to reach 101.7 million bpd. Increased jet fuel use accounts for nearly half of the growth.

The big picture: Even before today, IEA saw global oil thirst heading for an all-time high this year, but now the record could be even more pronounced.

  • “This occurs against a backdrop of lower prices, a somewhat improved economic outlook and a faster than anticipated reopening of China,” IEA said.
  • China, the world’s largest oil importer, accounts for around half of demand growth estimates.

The intrigue: A big question is much recently imposed EU sanctions and the G7 price cap ultimately slow Russia’s massive exports.

Russian crude shipments have “partially rebounded” after dipping when those policies took effect in December, “underscoring the high degree of uncertainty for the outlook.”

What they’re saying: IEA aren’t the only experts expecting significant consumption growth this year.

“We are very optimistic in terms of demand coming back to the market,” Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser tells Bloomberg.

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