Crude Oil Prices Fall, High US Interest Rates Hit Demand


Crude oil prices fell in early Asian trade as investors expected higher US inflation and interest rates to dampen consumer demand in the industry.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil fell 12 cents (0.1%) to $83.34 per barrel and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell 8 cents (0.1%) to $79.72 per barrel.

Both benchmarks fell less than 1% yesterday as Federal Reserve (Fed) officials said they were awaiting more signs of slowing inflation before considering interest rate cuts.

The global physical crude oil market is weakening as refinery demand tightens and supply remains adequate. It will indicate further weakness for benchmark crude oil futures.

In addition, the market appears to be slightly affected by political uncertainty in two major oil producing countries.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and a high-profile leader were killed in a helicopter crash and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had to postpone a trip to Japan due to his father's health problems.

For now, investors will focus on supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) which is scheduled to meet on June 1 to set production policy on whether to extend the voluntary cut of 2.2 million barrels per day by members.

OPEC+ could extend some voluntary production cuts if demand fails to pick up in these months.