SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell in Asia on Friday as ongoing worries about the global supply glut overshadowed the benefits of a weakening dollar.
Official data released Wednesday showing US commercial crude inventories climbing to a fresh record high last week further underscored concerns about a market brimming with supplies and not enough demand.
At about 6 a.m. local time, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in May fell 48 cents to $37.86 while Brent crude for June, a new contract, was down 42 cents at $39.91.
Shailaja Nair, senior managing editor at global energy information provider Platts, said “unchanged fundamentals” of supply and demand remain a key influence on market sentiment.
“The market is still oversupplied with crude, demand is still the same, we’re not seeing any rise in demand. Nor is there any possibility of any rise in demand in the near term,” she told Agence France-Presse.
Major oil producers led by Russia and Saudi Arabia will meet on April 17 in Doha to discuss measures to stabilize prices, including a proposal to freeze output.
But Nair said only a decision to cut production rather than an output freeze will boost prices.
“Considering the amount of crude already in the market, a freeze is not going to make much of a difference,” she said.