Benchmark oil prices increased their losses during Tuesday’s trading. Investors are concerned, in particular, with the suspension of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in some European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The cost of May Brent oil futures on the London ICE Futures exchange by 19:06 on Tuesday is $ 67.80 per barrel, which is $ 1.08 (1.57%) below the price at the close of the previous session.
The price of WTI crude oil futures for April at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) by this time is $ 64.17 per barrel, which is $ 1.22 (1.87%) below the level at the close of the previous session.
In addition, an active inflow of Iranian oil to China in recent weeks has been crowding out imports from other countries and threatening OPEC + efforts to reduce supply in the market, Bloomberg writes. According to traders and analysts cited by the agency, China, the world’s largest oil importer, currently buys about 1 million bbl / d of oil, condensate and fuel oil from Iran.
Iran is a member of OPEC, but does not participate in the OPEC + deal to cut production. China’s preference for cheap Iranian oil leads to lower demand for oil from other OPEC countries such as Angola, as well as from Norway and Brazil, although the characteristics of oil from these countries are not identical.
Many refiners and traders are wary of buying Iranian oil due to US sanctions, which could result in denying them access to the US banking system.