Oil is slipping in fear that China’s demand will fall

The chimneys of the entire Grandboots oil refinery are found after sunset on March 1, 2021, southeast of Paris, France. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

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  • China’s economy slowed in March
  • Libya’s NOC declares Zueitina force majeure, warns of closure
  • Russian oil production has fallen 7.5% so far in April – citing IFAX sources

TOKYO / LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday on concerns about falling demand in China, tight global supplies and a balanced support of concern over the deepening Ukraine crisis.

China’s economy slowed in March as consumption, real estate and exports plummeted, accelerating faster-than-expected first-quarter growth numbers and the already weakened outlook on COVID-19 sanctions and the Ukraine war. read more

Brent crude was down 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $ 111.51 a barrel at 0825 GMT, down from $ 113.80 in the previous session on March 30. The US West Texas Intermediate was down 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $ 106.76.

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“Some Asian investors have reported gains as demand in China has been declining,” said Sadoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Raguden Securities.

Data on Monday showed that China refined 2% less oil in March than a year earlier, with production falling to its lowest level since October as rising crude prices pressed on the margins and tight locks hit demand. read more

Oil peaked in March 2008, with Brent topping $ 134 a barrel, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sanctions on Russia and buyers’ avoidance of Russian oil added to supply concerns.

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Adding to the supply side pressure, Libya’s National Oil Corp on Monday announced force wages at the Juidina oil port and warned that a “painful closing wave” was beginning to hit its facilities. Libya halted production of its El Field oil field on Sunday. read more

Interfax said on Friday that Russian production had fallen by 7.5% in the first half of March to April, and that EU governments last week said the camp administrator was drawing up plans to ban Russian crude oil.

Those comments came before tensions developed over the Ukraine crisis. Ukrainian officials said missiles had hit Elviv early Monday morning and that other cities had been bombed by Russian forces as they continued their bombing near full control of the port of Mariupol. read more

“The continuing war between Russia and Ukraine, with no sign of a ceasefire, has provoked supply fears, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Report by Yuga Obayashi and Alex Lawler; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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