Por Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
LONDON, Apr 26 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday on fears that a surge in COVID-19 cases will hit fuel demand in the world’s third-largest crude importer, as the force ends Greater exports from a Libyan terminal and greater supply from OPEC + added to the downward pressures.
* At 1119 GMT, Brent crude was down $ 1.02, or 1.5%, at $ 65.09 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was down 90 cents, or 1 , 5%, to 61.24 dollars per barrel.
* Both benchmarks yielded about 1% last week.
* “The market is currently tending to focus more on bad news from India and Japan, where the number of new coronavirus cases has grown strongly, leading to the imposition of greater restrictions on mobility,” said the analyst of Commerzbank Eugen Weinberg.
* Japan is the fourth largest oil importer in the world.
* New coronavirus infections in India hit a record high for the fifth day on Monday, and countries such as the UK, Germany and the US have pledged to send urgent medical aid to help combat the crisis overwhelming Indian hospitals.
* Consulting firm FGE expects gasoline demand in India to fall by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April and by more than 170,000 bpd in May. India’s total gasoline sales reached almost 747,000 bpd in March.
* In Japan, a third state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures began on Sunday, affecting nearly a quarter of the population as the country tries to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases.
* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russian-led allies, known as OPEC +, will discuss production policy at a meeting this week. The group agreed in early April to ease production restrictions gradually until July.
* The Libyan National Petroleum Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure at Hariga port after settling a dispute over its budget with the new government, NOC said on Monday.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)