Oil Prices Fall As Weak China Data Fuels Demand Worries

Oil Prices Fall As Weak China Data Fuels Demand Worries

West Texas Intermediate front-month futures fell 1.5 percent to $51.83 per barrel as of 10:16 a.m. EST, while Brent crude futures were 0.8 percent lower, at $61.17, at about the same time.

The next OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting will be held in Vienna, Austria, in April 2019 to review the impact of the deal on the global oil market.

Prices surged on Friday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers including heavyweight Russian Federation announced they would cut oil supply by 1.2 million barrels per day, with an 800,000-bpd reduction planned by OPEC members and 400,000 bpd by countries not affiliated with the group.

"This is a major step forward", said United Arab Emirates' Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, who is also President of the OPEC Conference. "China trade tensions continue to weigh on the market, negating last Friday's OPEC plus production cut news", Nicholas Cawley, analyst at DailyFX, told UPI.

He said that the producers chose to meet in April instead of June "to allow us to take the required decision", before the six months are up.

Two U.S. major investment banks forecast low oil prices for next year and foresee rising U.S. oil output increasing overall supply in 2019 in spite of OPEC and its allies agreeing to curb production at the latest OPEC meeting in Vienna on December 7.


Crude oil prices rose early Wednesday, buoyed by expectations of a US inventory reduction, as well as reports of production cuts by OPEC, Libya and Canada.

Still, a weaker economic outlook and higher production elsewhere have limited price gains. The minister said the cuts will help restore balance to the world market in 2019. WTI and Brent settled at 50.93U.S. dollars and 58.71 dollars per barrel, respectively, at the end of the week.

The oil cut agreement is expected to lower the glut of supply in the global oil market and bring crude prices up, which have fallen by more than 30 percent since October.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand for crude oil produced by OPEC countries at the world market is now at 31.3 million barrels.

Despite Friday's OPEC-led decision to trim output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January, overall sentiment remains a little bearish as traders cast doubts that the planned supply cuts will be enough to trim supply and stabilize prices.

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