Oil prices edged lower for a second day on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns that surging COVID-19 cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for June fell 52 cents, or 0.8%, to $62.15 a barrel. The May contract expired on Tuesday down 1.5% at $62.44.
Effect of Rising COVID-19 Cases on Oil Demand
On Wednesday, India, which is the world’s third-largest oil user, reported another record increase in the daily death toll from COVID-19, at 2,023, and another record rise in cases at more than 295,000. The country which is now under lockdown is facing oxygen supply shortages.
The American Petroleum Institute reported crude stockpiles rose 436,000 barrels last week, while gasoline supplies fell more than 1.6 million barrels. If confirmed by government figures Wednesday, that would be the first rise in oil inventories in four weeks.