Doubts About the Recovery of Demand are Declining Again

Concerns over the weakening global recovery for crude and fuels extended oil prices’ losses on Tuesday on data that showed a drop in China’s oil imports in May.

Overnight, Brent crude was down 49 cents, or 0.7%, to $ 71.00 a barrel at 0643 GMT. U.S. Oil was down 44 cents, or 0.6%, at $ 68.79 a barrel, down 0.6% from the previous session.

“Importing Chinese oil at five-month low prices … will ensure weakness in the Asian market,” said Bob Yawger, future energy director of Mizuho Securities.

China’s crude imports fell 14.6% in May, down from a year earlier, this year’s daily arrivals, and limited demand for maintenance oil purchases at refineries.

Crude prices have risen in recent weeks, with Brent rising nearly 40% this year and the WTI surpassing it, amid expectations that some countries will return with success in vaccinating for COVID-19.

Restricting the supply of petroleum by exporters and allies helped reduce prices.

But big oil importers like India are crossing the wave of epidemics that continue to threaten global demand in the second half of this year.

“Crude prices have started to struggle as demand in Europe and India has been declining,” said Avtar Chandu, senior manager of products at Philip Futures in Singapore.

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