Oil falls on fears economic growth falters and weighs down demand

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A gas station attendant prepares to refuel a car in Rome, Italy, January 4, 2012. REUTERS / Max Rossi

  • China Coal Prices Hit Record
  • IMF slashes growth prospects for major economies
  • China’s crude imports in September fall 15% year-on-year

LONDON, Oct. 13 (Reuters) – Oil prices edged down on Wednesday as growth in oil demand was expected to drop as inflation and supply chain issues weigh on the main savings, although soaring electricity production prices limited losses.

Brent crude futures fell 58 cents, or 0.7%, to $ 82.84 a barrel at 1220 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 48 cents or 0.6% to $ 80.16 a barrel.

Weighing in on prices, China, the world’s largest importer of crude, released data showing September’s imports fell 15% from a year earlier. Read more

China, along with Europe and India, remain mired in coal and natural gas shortages that have driven up the prices of fuels used for power generation and leading to the use of petroleum products as a substitute. .

“High gas and thermal coal prices are increasingly expected to be likely to stimulate demand for alternative fuels such as diesel and fuel oil,” analysts from ANZ Research said in a note. .

The biggest problem for the markets, however, is the impact of the energy crisis, especially in China, the world’s second-largest economy, on demand for oil.

“These are troubling times for China. A severe energy crisis is hitting the country,” said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM.

The International Monetary Fund slashed its growth outlook for the United States and other major economies on Tuesday, fearing that supply chain disruptions and cost pressures are slowing down the global economic recovery from the pandemic. Read more

A strong US dollar, trading near a year-ago high, has also weighed on oil prices, as it makes oil more expensive for those holding other currencies. Read more

The market is awaiting data on US oil inventories, delayed by a day after the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is due Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. GMT) and from the US Energy Information Administration on Thursday.

Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Robert Birsel, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Barbara Lewis and Louise Heavens

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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