Oil prices drop as India's COVID-19 surge crimps demand outlook


Shafaq News / Oil prices fell for a second day on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns that surging COVID-19 cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world's third-biggest oil importer, Reuters reported.

Brent crude futures for June fell 48 cents, or 0.7%, to $66.09 a barrel at 0515 GMT, after dropping 48 cents on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for June fell 52 cents, or 0.8%, to $62.15 a barrel. The May contract expired on Tuesday down 1.5% at $62.44.

India, also the world's third-largest oil user, on Wednesday reported another record increase in the daily death toll from COVID-19, at 2,023, and another record rise in cases at more than 295,000. read more

The country is facing an oxygen supply crisis to treat patients. Large parts of the country are now under lockdown due to a huge second wave of the pandemic.

Further battering the market, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group showed U.S. crude oil and distillate stocks rose in the week ended April 16, according to two market sources, compared with analysts' forecasts for drawdown in inventories. read more

Crude stocks rose by 436,000 barrels, API reported, according to the sources. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 3 million barrel drawdown in crude stocks.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its inventory data for last week later on Wednesday.

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