Oil rates decline amid concerns over Chinese demand outlook


(MENAFN) On Tuesday, oil rates experienced a decline, primarily driven by apprehensions regarding the demand outlook in China, the largest importer of crude oil worldwide. This dip followed China's unveiling of a growth target that experts anticipate will pose greater challenges to attain.

At 10:21 AM regional time (0721 GMT), the international benchmark Brent crude was observed trading at USD82.41 per barrel, marking a 0.47 percent decrease from the closing price of USD82.80 per barrel recorded in the preceding trading session. Similarly, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at USD78.25 per barrel at the same time, reflecting a 0.62 percent decline from its previous session's close at USD78.74 per barrel.

China, recognized as the world's second-largest oil consumer, disclosed an economic growth target of approximately 5 percent for the year 2024 during the National People's Congress meeting on Tuesday. This target holds the potential to drive fuel consumption upward if successfully achieved; however, experts have issued cautionary notes, highlighting that the 2024 target poses a greater challenge compared to the preceding year, 2023.

While concerns regarding China's growth target linger, several factors have tempered the extent of the decline in oil prices.

Major oil-producing nations have been reducing their output, which has contributed to stabilizing prices. Moreover, escalating geopolitical tensions in regions such as the Red Sea and the Middle East have also played a role in limiting the downward pressure on oil prices.

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