March trade data showed China’s import growth fell below expectations, indicating tepid Q1-12 demand. Concerns about a potential slowdown in the economy world’s No. 2 crude consumer China, have compounded worries about global demand. As a result, oil prices have fallen for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, suffering its biggest one-day percentage loss of the year and slumping to a seven-week low. Oil on the Nymex dropped by over a dollar to settle at US$101, the lowest close since Feb. 14. Brent crude fell by almost three dollars to US$119.8, the weakest close since Feb. 17.
The market opened with news of weak U.S. jobs data late last week . Additionally, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s monthly report has cut its forecast for world oil demand growth for 2012 and 2013, while raising the forecast for non-OPEC oil output.