Brent hits fresh five-year low

China - oil imports

China – oil imports

13 January 2015 – Global oil prices continued the week’s rout with benchmark Brent crude falling for a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday to its lowest in more than five years, despite China reporting record crude imports.

Both Brent and US crude are at their weakest since April 2009 and have fallen for seven straight weeks as oversupply clashes with slowing demand.

February Brent crude fell to a low of $46.39 a barrel before edging back to $46.55 early on Tuesday, down more than $1. US crude for February was at $45.31 per barrel, down 76 cents, after hitting a session low of $45.18 a barrel.

“A flurry of bearish (oil price) forecasts by analysts have kept downward pressure on oil prices,” ANZ bank said on Tuesday in a note.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs cut their average forecast for Brent in 2015 to $50.40 a barrel from $83.75.

They lowered their forecast for US crude to $47.15 a barrel from $73.75, saying it would need to stay near $40 for most of the first half of 2015 before it would hold up shale oil investments.

Dutch bank ABN Amro also cuts its outlook, seeing an average Brent price of $60 per barrel in 2015 and $55 a barrel for US WTI crude. The slight price recovery following the new lows was a result of record Chinese crude imports for December, which rose above 7 million barrels a day for the first time.

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