SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil markets dropped by around 1 percent in 2019’s first trading on Wednesday, pulled down by surging US output and concerns about an economic slowdown in 2019 as factory activity in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, contracted.
International Brent crude futures for March were at $53.27 per barrel at 0421 GMT, down 53 cents, or 1 percent, from their final close of 2018.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $45.01 per barrel, down 40 cents, or 0.9 percent.
In physical oil markets, Dubai crude averaged $57.318 a barrel for December, the lowest since October 2017, two traders who participate in the market said on Wednesday.
Similarly, Malaysia’s Petronas set the official selling price of a basket of December-loading Malaysian crude grades at $62.79 a barrel, the lowest since October 2017, the state oil firm said on Wednesday.
Traders said futures prices fell on expectations of oversupply amid surging US production and concerns about a global economic slowdown.
“We are most likely past the peak of this long economic uptrend,” consultancy JBC Energy said in an analysis of 2018.