MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices fall on China’s economic numbers

Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery dropped more than $1/bbl Oct. 19 to settle below $46/bbl on the New York market after China released quarterly statistics showing that economic growth had fallen to 6.9% for the 3 months ended in September.

It was the slowest growth rate since the global financial crisis of 2009. Citi Futures analyst Tim Evans said a number of factors contributed to weak oil price fundamentals, including China’s statistics.

“Although a tick more than the consensus expectation for a 6.8% scorecard, it still marked the slowest quarterly performance since first quarter 2009 and was a disappointment given the government stimulus efforts so far this year,” Evans added.

But analysts said events scheduled for Oct. 21 could provide some price support. A technical meeting between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC nations was scheduled Oct. 21 in Vienna.

Commerzbank analysts said they saw “little chance of any concrete steps to reduce the oversupply” being agreed upon, but they also noted that even the prospect of a minimal consensus could provide some short-term price support.

Separately, the US Energy Information Administration was scheduled to release its weekly inventory report for oil and product supplies on Oct. 21. Expectations were that supply would continue to drop, which would also help support oil prices.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined $1.37 to $45.89/bbl on Oct. 19 while the December crude oil contract was down $1.44 to $46.28/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November increased by 1.2¢ to a rounded $2.44/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price rose 4¢ to $2.42/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery was down 4.7¢ to a rounded $1.45/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November dropped 7.6¢ to a rounded $1.25/gal.

The December ICE contract for Brent crude declined $1.85 to $48.61/bbl, and the January contract dropped $1.80 to $49.31/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $447/tonne, down $9.25.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $44.92/bbl on Oct. 19, down 79¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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