Crude futures fall by more than $1/bbl on global economic concerns

04 June 2012 06:26  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures declined by more than $1/bbl on Monday, extending the heavy losses last week, with data out of the world’s top two biggest oil consumers failing to inspire confidence on the global economic prospects.

At 13:11 Singapore time (06:11 GMT), US crude for July delivery fell by $1.54/bbl at $81.69/bbl, while Brent crude was down by $1.56/bbl at $96.87/bbl.

Unemployment rate in the US, the world’s biggest economy, increased to 8.2% in May, with job creation at 69,000 for the month was the smallest recorded in a year, based on official data.

Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing sector is slowing down as indicated in its May Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which fell 2.9 percentage points to 50.4%, just barely above the 50% threshold that indicates expansion.

China is the second biggest economy in the world and is a key market for Asian petrochemicals.

Fears about the euro breaking amid the eurozone debt crisis are also plaguing the commodities and equities markets.

Prices key petrochemical products in the region were being dragged down by crude, with benzene hitting a six-month low on Monday, while toluene declined to its lowest in 16 months.

Benzene fell by $70-75/tonne in the morning trade, with prices falling below $1,000/tonne. At midday, benzene was assessed at $980-990/tonne (FOB) Korea.

Toluene, meanwhile, shed $55-60/tonne on Monday to $965-980/tonne (FOB) Korea.

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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