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Oil Updates – Crude Slides; Japan will take time to phase out Russian imports; Chinese oil imports rebound in April
RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Monday, along with stock markets in Asia, sparked by fears that a global recession could dampen oil demand, with investors eyeing EU talks on a Russian oil embargo which is expected to tighten global supply.
Brent crude fell 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $112.11 a barrel at 0153 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $109.36 a barrel, down 41 cents, or 0.4%.
Japan will take time to phase out Russian oil imports
Japan will take time to phase out imports of Russian oil after agreeing a ban with other Group of Seven countries to counter Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday.
G7 nations pledged to act in a “timely and orderly manner” in an online meeting on Sunday to put additional pressure on President Vladimir Putin, though members such as resource-poor Japan are heavily dependent Russian fuel.
“For a country heavily dependent on energy imports, this is a very difficult decision. But G7 coordination is more important at a time like now,” Kishida told reporters, repeating comments he made at the G7 meeting.
“As for the timing of reducing or stopping Russian oil imports, we will take this into account while assessing the actual situation,” he said. “We will take our time to take steps towards a gradual elimination.” He did not specify.
No ships have loaded Russian oil for Japan since mid-April, according to Refinitiv data.
About 1.9 million barrels were exported from Russia to Japan in April, down 33% from the same month a year ago.
Chinese oil imports rebound
China’s crude oil imports rose nearly 7% in April from the same month a year earlier, its first increase in three months, although fuel demand weakened due to COVID lockdowns -19 has dampened throughput at Chinese refineries.
The world’s top buyer of crude oil imported 43.03 million tonnes last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, equivalent to 10.5 million barrels a day.
This compares to 9.82 million bpd in April 2021 and 10.06 million bpd in March.
Imports from January to April fell 4.8% from the same period last year to 170.89 million tonnes, or about 10.4 million bpd.
(Contributed by Reuters)