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Oil falls by 1 percent on China's trade decline, although crude imports remain high



SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell by 1 percent on Monday, when the Brent raw material slips below $ 60 a month. Barrel after Chinese data showed weakening of imports and exports in the world's largest trading country and second largest crude oil consumer.

FILE PHOTO: A pumping jack operates in the oil field of Permian Basin near Wink, Texas on August 22, 2018. Image taken August 22, 2018. REUTERS / Nick Oxford / File Photo / Photo

International Brent crude oil futures was at 59 , $ 88 pr. barrel at 0816 GMT, down 60 cents or 1 percent from their last seal.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) raw futures were down 59 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $ 51 a year. Barrel.

China's total exports fell by 4.4 percent in December from the year before, the biggest monthly decline in two years, showed official data on Monday, pointing to further weakening in the world's second-largest economy. Imports were also contracted and dropped 7.6 percent, the biggest drop since July 2016.

"Raw futures remained in the red as trade began for a fresh week in Asia along with most of the region's stock markets … ( as) China reported a trade surplus of USD 351.76 billion in 2018, the lowest since 2013, "said Vantaa Insights energy consultant Vandana Hari in a note.

The weak data confirms a number of indicators that have pointed to an economic downturn since the second half of 2018.

"Producer price inflation has decelerated for six consecutive months and adds other signs of cooling of industrial activities (in China) in the midst of the weakening of global demand, "says rating agency Moody's note.

Trade customers said the data knocked down crude oil futures and Asian stock markets alike, both of which had submitted modest gains earlier on Monday.

The economic research firm TS Lombard said that oil prices were covered as "the world economy is now slowing down … limiting the potential for positive surprises in oil demand and hampering stock reduction."

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy Denmark's Saxo Bank said that the deterioration recently seen in forward-looking economic data from the US to Europe and China meant that upward crude oil futures were probably limited to $ 64 a year. Barrel for Brent and $ 55 for WTI.

Despite the weak Chinese trade data, the country's oil imports remained close to record levels of DKK 10.31 million in December. Barrels per Day (bpd) that held over 10 million. The BPD mark for the second consecutive month in the warehouse of small independent refineries attempting to use up annual quotas.

Due to this strong demand from the world's leading oil importer, OPEC and some non-OPEC allies, including Russia, have lowered their supply since the end of 2018, giving some price support.

In the United States, the drills cut four oil rigs a week until January 11, dropping the total to 873, said Baker Hughes energy service on a weekly report Friday.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Tom Hogue

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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