Oil prices fell on Monday after data showing China’s overall exports of goods and services shrank for a fourth straight month, sending shivers through a market already concerned about damage being down to global demand by the Sino-U.S. trade war.
Brent futures LCOc1 were down 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $64.18 per barrel by 0220 GMT, after gaining about 3% last week on the news that OPEC and its allies would deepen output cuts. West Texas Intermediate oil futures CLc1 were down 28 cents, or 0.47% to $58.92 a barrel, having risen about 7% last week on the prospects for lower production from ‘OPEC+’, which is made up of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and associated producers including Russia.
Monday’s sudden chill came after customs data released on Sunday showed exports from the world’s second-biggest economy in November fell 1.1% from a year earlier – a sharp reversal from expectations for a 1% rise in a Reuters poll. The weak start to the week came despite data showing China’s crude imports jumped to a record, revealing just how deep jitters are embedded in the market over the U.S.-China trade row that has stymied global growth and oil demand.