August 16, 2021

The Gloom of Demand Prospects Makes Oil Investors Restless

 Oil investors earlier in the week started with disappointment following the decline in commodity prices impacted by less encouraging data readings from the world’s largest oil consumer, China.

Brent crude futures fell more than 1.3% at the start of the European session and traded at $ 69.65 a barrel. Meanwhile, US WTI trading fell more than 1.4% to $ 67.20 a barrel.

Factory output and retail sales in China showed slower growth in July, as the country faced the threat of a resurgence of a coronavirus outbreak.

The recent tightening of several sanctions measures due to a new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks is seen as a major factor to the disappointing data from the world’s leading oil importers.

Moreover, China’s crude oil processing last month also fell to its lowest level since May 2020, as independent oil refineries cut production amid tighter quotas, increased inventories and declining profits.

Oil prices have been under pressure since last week, especially after the International Monetary Agency (IEA) issued a bleak forecast that demand is likely to rise at a slower pace in the last quarter of this year.

This follows the reversal of the upward trend seen in July following the spread of the Delta variant which is becoming more widespread globally.