Oil prices fell to multi-month lows on recession fears; Less than $100 per dollar
Oil prices fell on Monday, near multi-month lows, as the slump hurt the demand outlook and data pointed to a slow recovery in China’s imports of crude oil last month.
Brent crude futures fell 74 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $94.18 a barrel. First-month prices hit their lowest levels since February last week, tumbling 13.7 percent and posting their biggest weekly drop since April 2020.
US West Texas Intermediate crude scored $88.34 a barrel, down 67 cents, or 0.8 percent, extending losses after falling 9.7 percent last week.
Customs data showed that China, the world’s largest importer of crude, imported 8.79 million barrels per day of crude in July, up from a four-year low in June, but still 9.5 percent below its level a year ago.
Chinese refiners pulled their stocks amid rising crude oil prices and weak domestic profit margins even as the country’s overall exports gained momentum.
Reflecting lower US gasoline demand, and with China’s COVID-free strategy pushing for recovery, ANZ revised its oil demand forecasts for 2022 and 2023 by 300,000 barrels per day and 500,000 barrels per day, respectively.
The bank said that oil demand for 2022 is now expected to rise by 1.8 million barrels per day on an annual basis and stabilize at 99.7 million barrels per day, just below pre-pandemic levels.
Russia’s exports of crude oil and petroleum products have continued to flow despite an imminent EU embargo that will come into effect on December 5th.
In the US, energy companies cut the number of oil rigs last week by the most since September, the first drop in ten weeks.
The US clean energy sector received a boost after the Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping $430 billion bill aimed at combating climate change, among other issues.