Whatever China does, it appears that the economy still can’t take off after the reopening. Despite hefty fiscal and monetary support, consumer and producer price inflation have been slowing for the second month in a row. May inflation slowed down from 3.3% in April to 2.4% (2.7% forecast), the weakest price increase since March 2019. What is even more alarming, the price growth for intermediate goods (i.e. raw materials, resources, etc.) fell by 3.7% in May in annual terms (-3.3% in April). This means that producer demand for resources is declining, reflecting the negative expectations of how demand for their goods and services has changed and will change:
A decrease in consumer price level gives a signal to producers to reduce output, which then negatively affects other macroeconomic indicators such as wage growth and volume of capital investments. Which again affects consumer demand and thus inflation.
Chinese stocks reacted negatively to the weaker than expected release of key data, SSE Composite fell by almost half a percent.
Positive news for the oil market was the suspension of oil production in Libya at the largest Sharara field, with a capacity of 300 thousand bpd. As it became known, the armed group stopped production on the weekend after relaunch, although the Libyan National Oil Corporation hoped to reach its working capacity within 90 days.
The API weekly report on US oil inventories showed that inventories increased by 8.42 million barrels, which exceeded market expectations. The increase in stocks usually negatively affects oil prices, as it means an increase in producer activity in the United States. Reserves in Cushing decreased by 2.29 million barrels.
The short-term forecast from the US Department of Energy indicated a lower than previously reported average level of US oil production in 2020 – 11.57 million bpd, against 11.69 million bpd in the previous forecast. Such a forecast followed the revival of US oil sector amid recovery in oil prices. Continuing decline in production reflects the collapse in drilling activity, which will recover more slowly after the 70% drop compared to mid-March.
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