I wrote about this demand uncertainty in the Geopolitics of Energy last November.
"Systemic imbalances in the global economy are forming, creating the potential for a category five hurricane of volatility and risk. Policy makers once again, despite ample warnings, have failed to buttress the levees. As a result, the storm’s aftermath is likely to be felt for an extended period of time, maybe even a decade. The purpose of this article is to explain why we are entering into a lengthy period of increased economic risk for the oil market and the broader economy.
The swing in WTI futures from contango to backwardation, where contracts are trading below spot, is seen, by some, as evidence that producers are hedging their production with the expectation that the global economy will be weak over the next couple of years. Most of the mistakes that will be made in capital allocation over the next twelve months will not be because the decision makers misread the economic environment for 2012; many analysts will misjudge the underlying causes of the 2012 recession and fail to see the broader implications of the systemic imbalances. This article addresses how imbalances in the US, Euro area, and Chinese economies are creating significant demand uncertainty in the global economy for the foreseeable future."