The coronavirus cases and rising tensions between the US and China are undermining the positive impact of the OPEC + deal on production. Oil prices fell nearly 1% on Monday.
Brent crude fell 46 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $48.79 a barrel. U.S. crude fell 50 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $45.76 a barrel.
Prices came under pressure after the United States notified Chinese officials that Beijing was preparing to impose sanctions for its alleged role in disqualifying elected opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong.
Rising tensions between China and the United States, the world’s largest oil consumers, have repeatedly brought the agenda in the market in recent years.
China, the world’s largest crude oil importer, has helped boost crude oil prices this year. In the first 11 months of the year, China imported a total of 503.92 million tons or 10.98 million barrels per day, up 9.5% compared to the previous year. According to the General Administration of Customs data, the country’s oil imports in November increased compared to the previous month.
A global increase in coronavirus cases is being observed. Many countries are in the process of applying a series of mandatory renewed lockdowns.
Due to the decrease in the number of people traveling in the USA during the Thanksgiving holiday week because of the epidemic, gasoline consumption is said to have dropped to the lowest level in 20 years.
Both oil benchmarks rose by about 2% last week, after OPEC and its allies decided to increase production somewhat in January. Some analysts raised their long-term Brent price prediction from $ 45 to $ 47.50 a barrel and revised their long-term WTI price forecast from $ 42.50 to $ 45.
Iranian state media said on Sunday that it has been ordered that the oil ministry to prepare facilities for crude oil production and sale at full capacity within three months.