Crude oil prices slightly increased Wednesday as a record number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and rising Sino-American tensions continue to weaken the outlook of the global economy and oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $43.08 per barrel at 0620 GMT for a 0.41% increase after closing Tuesday at $42.90 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.47 a barrel at the same time for a 0.27% gain after ending the previous day at $40.29 per barrel.
The World Health Organization (WTO) said Monday that 230,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO on Sunday -- a single-day world record in the new number of cases. The previous global record came Friday with more than 228,000 new cases reported globally.
Rising COVID-19 cases continues to hamper a global economic recovery and an uptick in oil demand, stifling crude prices.
Rising tensions between the US and China are also negatively impacting global oil demand and crude prices. China announced sanctions on Monday on several US lawmakers and an envoy over the issue of Uighur rights in Xinjiang.
Global liquids production in June decreased significantly by 2.95 million barrels per day (bpd) to average 86.29 million bpd, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its report on Tuesday.
In June, OPEC crude oil production decreased by 1.89 million bpd month-over-month to average 22.27 million bpd, according to secondary sources quoting from OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report for July.
Global oil demand in 2020 is estimated to be 8.95 million bpd lower than 2019 to average 90.72 million bpd this year. However, it is expected to increase by 7 million bpd next year to average 97.72 million bpd in 2021.
Thus, demand for OPEC crude in 2021 is anticipated to be 6 million bpd higher than this year to average 29.8 million bpd in 2021.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya