* China Q3 GDP rises 4.9%, missing target – data
* China’s crude throughput slows in September vs July-Aug –
* OPEC+ concern about virus impact on demand, rising
SINGAPORE, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday
after reports that China’s third-quarter economic growth did not
rise as much as expected, underscoring concerns that surging
coronavirus cases globally are impacting demand in the world’s
largest oil importer.
The world’s second-largest economy in the third quarter
expanded by 4.9% from a year earlier, missing analyst
expectations, government data showed. Refiners in China, the
world’s second-largest oil user, slowed their processing rates
in September and industrial metal imports, underpinned by
government stimulus, were lower.
Brent crude for December slipped 15 cents, or 0.4%,
to $42.78 a barrel by 0405 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate
crude for November was at $40.70 a barrel, down 18 cents.
The contract will expire on Tuesday.
Brent rose 0.2% last week while WTI gained 0.7%, after crude
and oil product inventories in the United States, world’s top
oil consumer, fell.
The Chinese data showed growth in goods and services is
softening while the data on crude processing and industrial
metals output, given a lifeline from fiscal stimulus, were
“disappointing”, said Howie Lee, an economist at Oversea-Chinese
Banking Corp (OCBC).
“We’re likely going to see prices being soft for the rest of
the day,” Lee said.
China’s oil-buying frenzy earlier this year is expected to
slow in the fourth quarter amid high inventories and limited
import quotas for independent refiners.
OCBC’s Lee added that investors are focusing on the Joint
Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting of the OPEC+
group happening later on Monday.
OPEC+ consists of the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries and producer allies such as Russia. The JMMC
may decide whether it will delay plans reduce its current supply
cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2 million bpd
starting in January.
Prices are unlikely to rally on a delay since that has been
priced in by the market, Lee said.
Last week’s meeting of the OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee
reported a gloomier fuel demand outlook because of fears that a
prolonged second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and that a jump
in Libyan output could push the oil market into surplus next
Energy firms in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil producer,
last week added the most oil and natural gas rigs since January
as producers return to the well pad with crude prices holding
around $40 a barrel over the past several months.
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Gerry Doyle and