Economy

Oil down over lagging EU ban on Russian oil exports

Demand concerns in China, as country tightens its zero-COVID policy are putting downward pressure on prices

Sibel Morrow   | 16.05.2022
Oil down over lagging EU ban on Russian oil exports

ANKARA

Oil prices fell on Monday on easing supply fears with a halt in the EU's proposal of a ban on Russian exports amid opposition from some member countries.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $110.03 per barrel at 0706 GMT for a 1.36% decrease after closing the previous session at $111.55 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $107.39 per barrel at the same time for a 1.14% loss after the previous session closed at $108.63 a barrel.

Oil prices have been volatile due to supply risks of losing Russian oil barrels from the market and demand shortages from China.

Tightening monetary policies in the world's big economies also contribute to these concerns.

With sustained supply concerns since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the foreign ministers of EU countries are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the sixth sanctions package against Russia proposed by the European Commission last week, which includes highly divisive plans for the imposition of an oil embargo.

The EU states made little progress last week on a proposal to ban Russian oil imports.

"We estimate the proposal could displace around 2.5 mb/d (million barrels per day) of oil. Russia’s ability to find new customers is hindered by capacity constraints for land-based oil trade, as well as increasing constraints on shipping," ANZ commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said in an e-mailed note.

In China, demand has become weaker as authorities struggle to contain an outbreak of COVID-19.

ANZ said in a report on Thursday that the country’s crude oil imports were up 6.6% year over year to 43 million tonnes in April.

"The market is keeping one eye on China, as authorities denied rumors that Beijing will join other major cities in lockdown as new COVID-19 cases there climb. The restrictions in Shanghai and other cities have cut demand by around 1 mb/d in recent weeks," Hynes added.


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