- Oil Prices Slump Amid Trade Wars
Global oil prices declined to a six-week low as the trade dispute between the US and China overshadowed a decline in US crude inventories.
The world’s second-largest economy China announced retaliatory tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of US imports on Wednesday.
China’s Ministry of Commerce imposed 25 percent tariffs on a series of energy commodities from August 23 including “asphalt shale, oil shale and tar sand,” according to S&P Global Platts.
Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, declined by 3.2 percent to $72.28 per barrel after the report was made public, while the US West Texas Intermediate slid 3.2 percent to $66.94 a barrel. Its lowest close since June 21.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that crude-oil inventories declined for a second consecutive week to 10.8 million barrels per day, down from 10.9 million a week earlier.
“We do still have a lot of oil in the U.S.,” said John Woods, president of JJ Woods Associates, adding that as refineries head toward maintenance season after the summer driving season, inventories could rise more. “There’s room for [prices in] the crude market to soften a bit more,” he said.