Brent crude futures slipped towards $122 as a steeper than expected fall in China's overall imports in March raised concerns about oil demand growth in the world's second-biggest consumer.

There have been some doubts about global oil demand growth creeping in to the market, and China's crude oil import numbers won't help change that perception very much, said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. They are broadly in line with expectations.