Oil Prices Little Changed On Demand Worries

Oil Prices Little Changed On Demand Worries

Oil prices were flat to slightly lower on Monday after preliminary data showed India’s diesel consumption in April fell 10 percent and petrol 4 percent from pre-Covid level of April 2019 due to new restrictions to block spread of the coronavirus.

Sequentially, April diesel sales fell nearly 2 percent from March, when consumption had jumped 10 percent from February to 95 percent of the pre-pandemic level.

Benchmark Brent crude futures for July settlement slid 0.2 percent to $66.64 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate for June delivery were little changed at $63.58.

India is the world’s third-largest consumer behind the United States and China.

The country is in deep crisis, with hospitals and morgues overwhelmed, despite new infections showing a marginal dip for two days.

Analysts say that Covid-19 in India has not peaked and the country’s demand for transportation fuels will witness a sharper slump in May due to more restrictions.

On the positive side, traders remain optimistic about a strong rebound in demand in developed countries and China in the second half of the year.