Crude prices seen trading lower on Monday on weak China export data, while the crises in Ukraine remains in the spotlight as Crimea prepares on voting to join Russia. Currently, the EU position seems to be that the voting will not be authorized for the Ukrainian government because the Ukrainian government did not agree to the referendum.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) delivery slid 1.17% lower to $101.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at the time of writing. At the same time the European benchmark Brent crude for April settlement fell 0.79% to 108.14 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Crude – China
The drop in China’s exports was the most since the global financial crises, adding to concerns over the crude-demand growth, after the Communist Party leaders meeting set a 7.5% economic growth target for 2014.
China imported 23.05 million metric tons of crude in February, dropping by 18% from the record-high seen in January, the custom reports revealed.
China is expected to account for nearly 11% of global oil demand this year, while the US is forecasted to account for 21%, forecasts from the International Energy Agency confirmed.
According to analysts, reports from China and the ongoing in tension in Ukraine is dragging the crude prices lower. The German politician, Angela Merkel said she rebuked the Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying that a planned referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was violating Ukraine’s constitution.
Crude – Other News
Meanwhile, the oil and gas company, Gazprom posted a notice on Friday that the company could stop shipping gas to Ukraine due to unpaid bills, adding pressure on the new government. Nearly one third of major gas supplies to the EU come from Russia.
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