(investing.com) Concerns about the prospect of an oil supply shortage returned Monday, as investors continued to weigh supply disruptions in Saudi Arabia and declining output from and Venezuela, Iran and Libya. Saudi Arabia announced it would suspend shipments of oil through the key Bab el-Mandeb Strait, after Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked a pair of oil tankers in the Red Sea. Combined flows from Iran, Libya and Venezuela fell to their lowest since January, JBC Energy said. The fall in Iran crude flows come as U.S. sanctions, which come into effect in early November, are expected to cripple the Islamic Republic's energy industry, wiping a significant amount of crude supply from the market. Click Read More below for additional information.
Crude-oil futures on Monday were on pace to decline firmly, as global equity markets pulled back on further signs of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy, China.
Data showed weak China imports and exports for December, which underpinned worries of a slowdown in the global growth engine—a potential negative for oil demand.
Moreover, China’s trade surplus with the U.S. soared to a fresh record of $323.32 billion in 2018, amid Washington’s trade spate with Beijing.
more at source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oil-slips-set-for-back-to-back-decline-amid-signs-of-fresh-china-weakness-2019-01-14