Oil prices sank to seven-month lows Tuesday, falling 3 percent on signs of rising production in key parts of the world.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were down $1.21, or 3 percent, at $42.85 on Tuesday morning. The U.S. benchmark fell to the weakest intraday prices since Nov. 14, when the contract hit $42.20 a barrel.
WTI is now down more than 22 percent from its 52-week intraday high of 55.24 struck on Jan. 3, putting the commodity in bear market territory.
Prices for WTI’s August contract, which becomes the front-month on Wednesday, were down $1.20, or 2.7 percent, at $43.23. Trading volume was concentrated in the August contract.
International benchmark Brent crude prices also fell to a seven-month low and were last trading down $1.31, or 2.8 percent, at $45.60.
Prices took the fresh leg lower on new signs of rising output from Nigeria and Libya, the two OPEC members exempt from a deal to cut production.
Output from the 14-member exporter group ticked higher in May due to rising production in Nigeria, Libya and Iraq, raising concerns about OPEC’s effort to shrink global stockpiles of crude oil. OPEC and other producers have committed to keeping 1.8 million barrels a day off the market through March.
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