Oil prices fell around 3 percent on Monday amid concerns about slowing economic growth in China, the world’s top oil importer.
Benchmark Brent crude futures plunged $2.98, or 2.8 percent, to $104.16 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $3.14, or 3 percent, at $101.55.
China released data on Saturday showing that factory activity in the country contracted for a second month to its lowest since February 2020 because of Covid lockdown.
Separately, Caixin released its own manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, revealing a second straight month of deterioration.
As growth worries mount, investors ignored reports suggesting that the EU will propose a phased out ban on Russian oil imports as part of a fresh round of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Also, supply concerns eased somewhat after Libya’s National Oil Corporation declared “temporary lifting of the force majeure” at the Zueitina oil terminal.
“With the efforts of the . people of this country and in regular and continuous communication with all parties, the [Zueitina] oil terminal has temporarily resumed work, to load two tankers and allow for enough space to store the displaced volume of crude oil,” the company said in a statement.
The company halted exports from the terminal last month after a group of people entered the unit and stopped employees from working.