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February 25, 2021
BUSINESS

Brent crude falls below USD 100 a barrel

The price of Brent crude fell below the USD 100 a barrel mark for the first time since June 2013 as data from China and the US pointed to slower economic growth in the world’s largest oil consumers, Mediafax informs, quoting MarketWatch. A second consecutive monthly fall in Chinese imports in August spurred fears that weaker demand, exacerbated by a cooling housing market, was increasingly weighing on the global economy. ICE October Brent, the international oil benchmark, fell below the symbolically important USD 100 threshold last hit 13 months ago, to an intraday low of USD 99.36 a barrel – the lowest since May 2013. The price recovered to USD 100.11 a barrel in afternoon trading, down 78 cents from the previous session. The US benchmark Nymex October West Texas Intermediate declined to an eight-month low of USD 92.19, down USD 1.27. Although initial fears of supply disruptions propped up the price of Brent to USD 115 in mid-June, geopolitical upheavals from Libya to Iraq have not significantly affected production to date. In fact, supplies have increased.  In addition, an excess of oil in the Atlantic Basin and the North Sea, as European refineries cut back amid weak margins, has compounded the effects of greater North American production. Meanwhile, market participants are not fully convinced that economic sanctions against Russian energy companies will have a meaningful impact.

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