Crude oil fell on Monday from a record over $126 a barrel as slumping crude imports from China concerned investors that recent high prices may be weighing on demand.
Chinese imports of crude fell 3.9 percent in April compared to a year earlier meaning a decrease of about 3.5 million barrels a day, according to a report today from the Customs General Administration.
The decrease is the largest in 18 months and China is the second largest consumer of oil in the world.
Crude oil prices for June delivery fell $1.93 or 1.53 percent to $124.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:23 p.m.
Oil hit a record high of $126.40 a barrel today, its highest since oil futures began trading in 1983. Oil has climbed on supply disruptions in the U.K. and Nigeria.
Along with China, India, another emerging economy, saw a rise of 3 percent on its production at factories, utilities and mines from a year earlier, said New Delhi's statistics office today. This is India's slowest pace since 2002.
Demand from China and India boosted crude prices significantly last year.
Brent crude futures for delivery in June fell $2.54 or 2.04 percent to $122.02 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange today. Prices climbed to a record of $125.90 on May 9.