Crude futures down on demand concerns, China, IEA

10 August 2012 12:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures prices declined on Friday, falling by more than $1/bbl at one stage, following news of a slowdown in China’s import and export growth and cuts in oil demand forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

At 11:27 GMT, September Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $111.39/bbl (€90.23/bbl), down by $1.83/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $111.35/bbl, down by $1.87/bbl.

September NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $91.96/bbl, down by $1.40/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark fell to a session low of $91.92/bbl, down by $1.44/bbl.

Government data from China released on Friday revealed that exports rose by just 1% year on year in July – far below the forecast level of around 8.6%, and well down on the 11.3% year on year growth recorded in June. Imports in July were also lower, with a 4.7% increase year on year against a forecast rise of 7.2%.

The weak export and import data from China follows the release of disappointing factory output data on Thursday, which showed annual growth at its lowest level in more than three years.

In its latest monthly report, the IEA lowered its oil demand growth forecast for both 2012 and 2013 by 900,000 bbl/day and 800,000 bbl/day respectively, citing concerns over the impact of sluggish economic growth on oil demand – particularly for China, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The revised IEA oil demand forecasts for 2012 and 2013 were 89.6m bbl/day and 90.5m bbl/day respectively.

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4359

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