Oil falls on fears over slowing China demand

A TORC Oil & Gas pump jack is seen near Granum, Alberta, Canada May 6, 2020. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices fell on Monday as worries over slowing demand in China balanced support from concern over tight global supply and the deepening Ukraine crisis.

Brent crude futures fell 55 cents to $111.2 a barrel at 0940 GMT, sliding from the highest since March 30 of $113.80 hit earlier in the session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 57 cents at $106.4 per barrel.

China’s economy slowed in March as consumption, real estate and exports were hit, taking the shine off faster-than-expected first-quarter growth numbers and worsening an outlook already weakened by COVID-19 curbs and the Ukraine war, according to Reuters.

“Some Asian investors booked profits as they became worried about slowing demand in China,” Reuters quoted Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, as saying.

Data on Monday also showed China refined 2% less oil in March than a year earlier, with throughput falling to the lowest since October as the surge in crude supplies squeezed margins and tight lockdowns hurt demand.

Oil surged to the highest since 2008 in March, with Brent briefly topping $134, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to supply concerns due to sanctions on Russia and buyers avoiding Russian oil.

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