Global economy and oil demand strong: Al Falih
Khalid Al Falih says the oil market was 'on the right track'.
Abu Dhabi - 'Fundamentals of oil demand are sufficiently strong and the oil market will not be impacted'
Published: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 6:52 PM
Last updated: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 8:55 PM
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said that oil demand remains strong and that he sees no impact from US-China trade tensions.
"The global economy is strong enough, I'm not too concerned. If a slowdown happens, it will be mild, shallow and short," he told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
"The fundamentals of oil demand are sufficiently strong and the oil market will not be impacted. On the supply side, we are vigilant to take appropriate response if there is an impact on demand," he said.
Al Falih said on Sunday the oil market was "on the right track" and there was no need for an extraordinary Opec meeting before its next planned meeting in April.
Oil falls to $60
Meanwhile, oil slipped to around $60 a barrel on Monday after data showed weakening imports and exports in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, raising the prospect of a slowdown in fuel demand.
China's exports fell by the most in two years in December while imports contracted, official figures showed, pointing to further weakness in what is also the world's second-largest economy.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 46¢ to $60.02 a barrel by 1431 GMT, trading as low as $59.27 intraday. US crude slipped 52¢ to $51.07.
"Both imports and exports disappointed expectations and are set to revive fears about a global growth slowdown," said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.
Crude gave up an earlier gain following the release on Monday of the Chinese figures, the latest to point to an economic slowdown since the second half of 2018. Asian and European stock markets also slipped.
"Oil prices are getting weighted down by the prospects of weaker economic growth in China," Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a report. "This data drives home just how negative of an impact trade war is having on the Chinese and perhaps global economy."
Despite concern about the outlook, there is little sign that Chinese oil demand has weakened yet.