Crude falls on China inflation and demand worries

11 January 2013 12:28  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude values declined on Friday with Brent futures falling more than $1/bbl amid concerns over global demand and inflationary pressure in China.

At 12:08 GMT, February Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $110.65/bbl, down by $1.24/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $110.36/bbl, down by $1.53/bbl.

February NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $93.26/bbl, down by 56 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark fell to a session low of $93.10/bbl, down by 72 cents/bbl.

China’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate rose to a seven-month high in December at 2.5%, up from 2.0% in November. The CPI rise was higher than had been expected and was driven principally by rising food costs. There were concerns that the higher inflation rate could limit the ability of China’s central bank to enhance economic growth through further monetary easing.

The news of increased inflationary pressure and growth constraints in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, raised concerns over the impact on the nation’s oil demand growth in 2013. The news also offset the impact of upbeat December trade data released on Thursday which had revealed a substantial rise in exports and higher imports.

Reductions in Saudi production in December to around 9m bbl/day in response to weaker demand further highlighted concerns that continued muted global economic activity particularly in the developed world could limit the increase in oil consumption this year.

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4327

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