If the chart below is anything to go by, there’s going to be a lot more cars, trucks, aircraft and container ships moving around the world in the years ahead, particularly in emerging markets.
From research house Bernstein, it uses data from the likes of the IHS, International Air Travel Association, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, along with its own analysis, to forecast everything from global population growth to ethylene demand in the years ahead.
If there’s a common theme, it’s that there’s going to be more of everything in the years ahead.
Given the rapid levels of growth expected, Bernstein believes they will support increased oil demand, even with an expected slowdown in usage in developed nations.
Here’s Bernstein’s explanation why.
Most of the growth in cars, trucks, air travel, trade volumes, population, and GDP will likely happen in emerging markets. Oil demand peaked in the West in 2005 at around 50 million barrels per day. Given the peak in travel speeds, high penetration of transport, and increasingly services-led nature of economic growth in the West, demand from this area will decline from here.
Future oil demand will instead come from emerging markets as they converge toward Western economies. While we do not expect non-OECD countries to reach the same levels of development as the West (at least not by 2040), emerging markets will provide the engine for demand growth. Although China and (gasoline demand) in particular will remain the most important market over the next decade, India (diesel demand) is set to become the most important market over the next 25 years.
The chart below looks at the evolution in oil demand per capita by individual nation, starting at 1985 through to 2014. The two nation’s on the far right of the chart — China and India — are barely visible, something that Bernstein believes won’t be the case in the decades to come.
“China has been the biggest contributor to global growth over the past 15 years, but increasingly, India will likely be the country that matters the most,” says Bernstein.
“While oil penetration has reached 10-25bbls per person per year in Western countries, most non-OECD countries have consumption levels of 1-3bbls per person per year. Not only is this well below the global average of 5bbls per person per year, but it is also an order of magnitude lower than that of Western countries. We expect this gap to narrow.”