Home / Markets / Commodities /  Crude prices fall as US to release supplies from reserves

NEW DELHI: Crude oil fell in Asian deals on Friday after US President Joe Biden announced the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day for six months starting in May to check soaring prices in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

At 1030am, the May contract of Brent on the Intercontinental Exchange was at $104.42, down 0.28% from its previous close. The May contract of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on the NYMEX slipped below the $100 per barrel mark to $99.71 per barrel, down 0.57%.

Analysts, however, said that the fall in prices would be limited as the planned US release is not adequate to compensate for Russian supplies.

As per the International Energy Agency, Russia is the largest exporter of oil to global markets and the second largest crude oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia. In December 2021, it exported 7.8 million barrels per day.

Oil prices had been on an upswing even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as demand rebounded with the easing of the pandemic curbs and supplies struggled to keep up. However, the West's sanctions on Kremlin after its invasion of Ukraine, had pushed Brent, the global benchmark, to as high as $139.13 per barrel, the highest since 2008.

Prices since then have eased largely due to demand concerns following a fresh surge in covid-19 cases in China and mobility curbs in major cities.

Back home, oil market companies kept unchanged petrol and diesel prices. Fuel prices have risen a total of 6.40 a litre since 22 March in the national capital.

Petrol in Delhi now sells for 101.81 a litre, while diesel retails for 93.07. The increase in retail prices is expected to continue going ahead, given the significant gap between domestic and global prices.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rituraj Baruah

Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
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