Oil prices reached six-month lows on Thursday amid concerns over sluggish energy demand in the United States and China, coupled with sustained high output levels from the U.S. Brent crude futures experienced a 25-cent decline, reaching $74.05 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures saw a 4-cent drop, settling at $69.34. These figures represent the lowest prices for both benchmarks since late June.
The start of the week witnessed front-month Brent prices trading at a discount compared to prices six months ago, a phenomenon not seen since June. This trend suggests a perception among traders that the market might be grappling with oversupply issues. John Evans, an analyst at PVM Oil, commented on the situation, stating, “With the largest global importer of oil (China) shuttering its thirst for crude, pressure remains on prices as the largest producer, the United States, continues with headline output.”
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed that U.S. output remained close to record highs, surpassing 13 million barrels per day, as of Wednesday.