13 October 2008 | Jake Kanter
Falling demand for oil has pushed its price down from record highs over the summer.
A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found weak economic conditions, high prices and hurricane season had a "marked" impact on demand for oil, particularly in the US. This led the IEA to lower its 2008 average global demand rate by 240,000 barrels a day compared with predictions last month. The agency's current demand average stands at 86.5 million barrels a day.
It said a continued economic slowdown or recession is likely to hamper demand further in the future. This has had a direct effect on oil prices, which reached a record high of over $140 a barrel in July and dropped to today's figure of $72.6 a barrel.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has called a meeting on 18 November to discuss the impact of the global financial crisis on the oil market. Meanwhile, prime minister Gordon Brown has called on oil suppliers to pass on falling costs to consumers. "I want these price cuts passed on to the consumer and passed on as quickly as possible," he said.