Oil prices fall as recession fears trump tight supply

Oil prices fall as recession fears trump tight supply

An aerial view shows oil tanks of Transneft oil pipeline operator at the crude oil terminal Kozmino on the shore of Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia June 13, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel

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LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday, continuing last week’s losses as concerns about slowing global economic growth overshadowed tight supply.

Brent crude futures were down 50 cents, or 0.44%, at $112.62 a barrel by 1429 GMT. Front-month prices tumbled 7.3% last week for their first weekly fall in five.

US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 68 cents, or 0.62%, at $108.88. Front-month prices dropped 9.2% last week for the first decline in eight weeks.

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“Friday’s steep price fall can be seen as a delayed reaction to the concerns about recession that have already been weighing on the prices of other commodities for some time,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Analysts and investors said they believe a recession is more likely after the US Federal Reserve approved on Wednesday the largest interest rate increase in more than a quarter of a century in an effort to contain a surge in inflation.

Similar tightening approaches by the Bank of England and Swiss National Bank last week ensued. read more

Brent crude futures on Monday hit their lowest in a month, but some analysts expect the slump to be short-lived.

“Supplies will remain tight and continue supporting high oil prices. The norm for ICE Brent is still around the $120/bbl mark,” said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.

“The price had been powering higher over the previous month and the bullish case remains far more convincing,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Western sanctions have reduced access to oil from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special operation”.

While China’s crude oil imports from Russia in May soared 55% from a year earlier to a record high, displacing Saudi Arabia as the top supplier, China’s export quotas have resulted in declining oil product shipments.

Tight refined products markets have supported oil prices. read more

Analysts expect limited summer increases from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known collectively as OPEC+.

Libya’s oil production has remained volatile following blockades by groups in the country’s east, with its output most recently pegged at 700,000 per day. read more

Meanwhile, prospects are dwindling for Iranian sanctions relief that could result in a meaningful increase in the country’s crude exports. read more

There has been some mitigation for tight supply with the release of strategic petroleum reserves, led by the United States. US production is also climbing, according to rig count data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. read more

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Additional reporting by Florence Tan and Isabel Kua in Singapore Editing by Jan Harvey, David Goodman and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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