Friday, October 7, 2022

Oil prices fall nearly $1/bbl as China data disappoints

Oil prices fall nearly $1/bbl as China data disappoints

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dropped for a second session on Monday as weak China economic data triggered concerns about demand at the world's largest crude importer while the head of the world's top exporter, Saudi Aramco, said it was ready to ramp up output.

Brent crude futures fell 89 cents, or 0.9%, to $97.26 a barrel by 0034 GMT after settling 1.5% lower on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $91.27 a barrel, down 82 cents, or 0.9%, after a 2.4% drop in the previous session.

China's economy unexpectedly slowed in July, while refinery output tumbled to 12.53 million barrels per day, its lowest since March 2020, government data showed.

"The official data suggests that oil demand is weakening as domestic logistics and consumer demand are deterred by the record high oil pump prices," said Heron Lin, an economist at Moody's Analytics.

Saudi Aramco stands ready to raise crude oil output to its maximum capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd) if requested to do so by the Saudi Arabian government, Chief Executive Amin Nasser told reporters on Sunday.