China’s Weakening Demand Casts Shadow Over Oil Prices

Web DeskAugust 23, 2023

Oil prices experienced a slight dip on Tuesday, with concerns mounting about China’s economic struggles, which continue to curb demand from the world’s leading crude importer.

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As of 1545 GMT, Brent crude saw a 36-cent decline, settling at $84.10 per barrel. Meanwhile, the more active US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) October contract also dropped 36 cents, reaching $79.76.

The front-month WTI contract, set to expire soon, was down 19 cents, closing at $80.53 per barrel, although trading volume was notably limited.

China, the globe’s second-largest economy, plays a pivotal role in boosting oil demand for the remainder of the year. However, its sluggish economic performance has disappointed markets, as promised stimulus measures have fallen short of expectations. This includes a smaller-than-anticipated reduction in a crucial lending benchmark announced on Monday.

Jim Ritterbusch, President of Ritterbusch and Associates LLC in Galena, Illinois, observed, “Saudi and Russian output cuts have been largely negated by weakening crude demand from China that appeared to develop last month and is apt to continue through the rest of the summer.”

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