Crude oil for May dipped by over one dollar to US$49 on the Nymex, while June futures dipped to US$51.65 a barrel. Brent crude oil for June settlement fell to US$52.4 on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Oil prices have seen a further drop on concerns that an expected increase in US inventory levels is an indication that the global recession continues to weaken demand for fuels in USA. On 15 April, crude-oil inventories stood at 366.7 mln barrels, the highest since September 1990. US fuel demand in Q1 fell to the lowest in 11 years according to American Petroleum Institute.
A report from China showing that oil refiners increased their output in March, has caused limited cheer in the markets. The country refined 29.4 mln tons of crude at 6.92 mln bpd in March, an increase of 0.7% from a year ago levels. However, China’s GDP increased 6.1% in this Q1, the slowest pace in 10 years.