Oil Prices Dip as Demand Growth Fades

Oil prices rose more than 2 per cent yesterday after US data supported expectations of demand growth, however, both crude benchmarks fell for a seventh straight week, posting their longest streak of weekly declines in half a decade, on lingering oversupply concerns.

Fuelling the market's downturn, Chinese customs data showed its crude oil imports in November fell 9 per cent from a year earlier as high inventory levels, weak economic indicators and slowing orders from independent refiners weakened demand.

Demand growth is slowing down this quarter, the agency said in its Oil Market Report for December, and revised down its Q4 consumption growth forecast by nearly 400,000 bpd, with Europe making up more than half of the downward revision.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) recently agreed to a combined 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in output cuts for the first quarter of next year. The market has been concerned, however, that some members may not adhere to their commitments. Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's two biggest oil exporters, on Thursday called for all OPEC members to join an agreement on output cuts "or the good of the global economy''. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met to discuss further oil price cooperation on Wednesday.

Fuel card users can expert a further drop in the region 1.45 pence for next week. A welcome reduction in the run up to Christmas!


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