Oil prices fell for a third day on Tuesday, as Germany, France and other European states suspended the use of a major coronavirus vaccine, which threatens the recovery of fuel demand. Brent was down $1.10, or 1.6%, to $67.78 a barrel. US crude fell $1.26, or 1.9%, to $64.13 a barrel. Earlier this month, Brent reached its highest since early 2020, while US crude hit a 2018 high. Germany, France and Italy said they would suspend the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of possible serious side-effects, although the World Health Organisation said there was no established link to the vaccine. The moves deepen concerns about the slow pace of vaccinations in the European Union that could hurt an economic recovery and fuel demand. “For oil demand to fully recover, a successful and rapid inoculation of the global population needs to take place,” said Rystad Energy Head of Oil Markets Bjornar Tonhaugen.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2021.

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