Oil prices fell on Wednesday despite a massive pending USA economic stimulus package as the coronavirus pandemic sharply dented US fuel demand in the latest week, with traders bracing for further declines.
Refiners across the world have been reducing operations as the spread of the coronavirus has led to steep falls in aviation and motor fuel demand.
Products supplied, a proxy for United States demand, dropped almost 10 per cent to 19.4 million bpd, EIA data showed. Overall fuel demand fell by almost 2.1 million bpd.
Brent crude futures fell $1.04, or 3.75 per cent, to $26.35 a barrel by 0834 GMT. USA crude futures fell 21 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $23.80 a barrel.
Oil prices have slumped 60 per cent since January to below $30 a barrel.
But with demand disappearing and output rising, the outlook is bleak.
US crude inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels last week, the US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, marking the ninth straight week of increases.
The US Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic. For the year, oil consumption is expected to contract by around 4.25 million bpd, the Wall Street bank said.
Oil prices have fallen by more than 45 per cent this month after OPEC+, comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russian Federation, failed to agree on extending output cuts.
"Global isolation measures are leading to an unprecedented collapse in oil demand", it said.
Goldman Sachs forecast global oil demand, which stood at around 100 million barrels per day (bpd) previous year, will fall by 10.5 million bpd in March and 18.7 million bpd in April.
Vitol said refineries have so far cut about 7 million bpd, a figure the company expects to rise further as storage fills up.