Global benchmark Brent futures fell 58 cents, to $59.23 a barrel by 2:25 p.m. EDT, having fallen earlier in the trading session to their lowest since January 14, at $59.07/Bbl.
Brent's price slid again yesterday and is now down more than 20% from its recent April peak above $75, breaching an important mid-term support level in the process as demand side worries overcome supply side shocks to keep the energy commodity's price close to the lows.
USA crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.8 million barrels per day (b/d) last week, 786,000 b/d more than the previous week's average.
Brent for October settlement added 10 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to US$59.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange as of 8:56am Singapore time after falling 0.6 per cent earlier.
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed fears the trade row with China could be drawn out. EIA forecasts Brent spot prices will average $64/b in the second half of 2019 and $65/b in 2020. Furthermore, despite an expected 1.65M bpd growth in United States liquids supply between July and December 2019, global oil supply is still expected to average 102M bpd in December 2019, exactly where it was a year prior.
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Despite the optimistic outlook from the EIA, most oil price forecasters at major North American banks expect weakening oil demand will contribute to lower prices. "Assuming there is no recession, oil demand should continue to see robust growth", Commerzbank said in a note.
Still, economists are pricing additional escalations in the trade war between the USA, the largest producer of oil in the world, and China, which the EIA called the world's second-largest buyer of oil in 2016, the a year ago for which it did the comparison.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday expressed mutual concern over threats targeting freedom of maritime traffic in the Gulf. USA supply is expected to grow by 1.65M barrels, and global oil supply is expected to grow by 1.53M barrels.
Tensions in the Middle East have heightened in the wake of attacks on tankers and U.S. drones, raising concerns over passing through the Straight of Hormuz, a key shipping artery of global oil trade.