Oil prices dropped on Monday, with WTI crude falling 0.3% to $52.18 a barrel, while Brent oil declining 0.5% to $ 54.84 a barrel at around 06:45 AM GMT, amid concerns that surging COVID-19 globally could jeopardize the market’s recovery outlook as virus vaccine rollouts continue. In China, over 28 million people are in lockdown as Beijing seeks to avoid a resurgence of the outbreak. Authorities reportedly have called on citizens not to travel and conducted testing on a massive scale ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

Meantime, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors will consult Tuesday on how to proceed with restriction measures, which are currently due to expire on January 31st. Still, reports that China’s refineries posted record throughput in 2020 and processed 3% more crude oil than a year ago continued to support oil prices, while Saudi Arabia’s output cut remains intact.