COVID Vaccine Positively Affects Oil Prices
The main factor for oil prices growth was the first reports of successful vaccine trials. Expectations of a victory over COVID have positively affected the demand for oil, especially in China. However, it’s too early to discuss full release from quarantine.
According to the International Energy Agency, global oil demand will increase by 5.4 million barrels per day in 2021. As long as the OPEC+ countries hold back production at the current level, demand will overtake supply. If the OPEC+ countries opt for increasing production, oil quotes may drop soon.
The rise in oil prices is also supported by the decision of the World Health Organization which approved the AstraZeneca and Oxford University coronavirus vaccine for emergency use on February 15, 2021. WHO has approved 2 versions of the vaccine: the South Korean one produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio and the Indian one produced by the country's Serum Institute. The WHO decision is expanding access to relatively inexpensive vaccines in the developing regions of the world.
Over 300 million doses of vaccine are expected to be provided to 145 countries in the first half of 2021 as part of the COVAX initiative, which aims to ensure equal access to coronavirus vaccines for all countries regardless of income level.