Oil prices It fell on Monday as a rise in coronavirus cases sparked concern about demand, as major crude benchmarks are on track to post their first monthly decline since April.
Brent LCOc1 crude was down 32 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $ 41.60 a barrel by 0915 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate CLc1 was at $ 39.89 a barrel, down 36 cents, or 0.8%.
The rise in daily infections has accelerated and the total number is now approaching 33 million. The countries hit hardest are the most populous ones, said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM.
“The speed at which the virus is spreading is a major concern for both health officials and financial investors.”
On Monday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the global oil market has been stable over the past few months and the balance between supply and demand has returned, but he warned of the risks of a second wave of cases of coronavirus.
Despite efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to limit production, more crude is being exported from OPEC producers Iran and Libya.
“The increase in production is modest,” BNP Paribas analyst Harry Chillingweerian said of Libya’s renewed exports.
“Even if Libya rapidly increases production to pre-blockade levels of 1 million barrels per day, in the short term, crude oil may not easily find buyers.”
OPEC Secretary-General Mohamed Barkindo said on Sunday that commercial oil stocks in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries are expected to rise only slightly above the five-year average in the first quarter of 2021, before falling below this level for the rest of The year.