Oil prices were down on Wednesday with an expected increase in US crude oil inventories, on top of fears that a potential second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could further weaken global oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $40.58 per barrel at 0618 GMT for a 0.9% decline after closing Tuesday at $40.96 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $37.77 a barrel at the same time for a 1.6% fall after ending the previous day at $38.38 per barrel.
Crude oil inventories in the US are estimated to increase by 3.8 million barrels for the week ending June 12, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s figures on Tuesday.
The US Energy Information Administration will release the official weekly update of US crude stocks later Wednesday.
On the demand side, new COVID-19 cases are on the rise in various US states, dampening the outlook for oil demand in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country.
Oil demand in 2020 is expected to fall by 8.1 million barrels per day from the previous year, which would mark the largest annual fall in history, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Tuesday.
The IEA underlined that reduced jet and kerosene deliveries would impact total oil demand until at least 2022.
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