(New York) Oil prices fell on Wednesday, a market disappointed by new figures which confirm the sluggishness of American demand for gasoline.

The price of a barrel of Brent North Sea crude for June delivery fell 1.94% to close at $83.12.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), with maturity in May, dropped 2.10%, to 79.16 dollars.

The two market benchmarks fell to their lowest level since the surprise announcement of a production cut of 1.16 million barrels per day initiated by eight members of the OPEC alliance (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies of the OPEC agreement), at the beginning of April.

“The market is led by gasoline today, after some disappointing weekly numbers again,” commented Andy Lipow, Lipow Oil Associates.

Under the impact of this contraction in demand, gasoline inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels in the United States, while analysts saw them fall by 1.25 million barrels.

Meanwhile, U.S. refinery utilization rose to 91.0% from 89.3% in the prior period, the highest since December.

“The market isn’t worried about the availability of gasoline,” says Andy Lipow, undermining prices.

After this publication, the wholesale price of gasoline in the United States fell, closing down 3.8%.

The US figures fueled market gloom, looking for signals of a significant acceleration in global demand, absent so far.

After having jumped at the announcement of production cuts from the OPEC group, the operators mainly remembered that the cartel “had perhaps received indications from its customers that they did not want as much oil as they were buying until then,” according to Andy Lipow, because the economy is slowing down.

The market was also marked on Wednesday by a study by the CREA (Centre for research on energy and clean air), a research institute based in Finland, according to which Russia is circumventing the embargo on its black gold exports put in place by the European Union and several major economies.

Several countries that still buy Russian oil, such as China, Turkey, India, Singapore or the United Arab Emirates, refine this crude and then resell the product abroad, which explains why the barrels exported by Russia have increased since the embargo was put in place.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), they were, in March, the most important for almost three years.

“The reality is that Russia is selling more oil (now) than before the war,” Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group said in a note, which is helping to keep prices down.