NEW YORK, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices fell Monday after Chinese exports sank unexpectedly, igniting concerns over demand of the world's top energy consuming nation.
China reported a large trade deficit in February mainly due to distortion by the Lunar Chinese New Year holidays, marking the first deficit since April 2013.
China's General Administration of Customs said Saturday China's trade deficit stood at 22.98 billion U.S. dollars in February, with exports falling 18.1 percent and imports up 10.1 percent, missing economists' expectations.
Meanwhile, China imported 23.05 million metric tons of crude in February, down 18 percent from a record in January, said the General Administration of Customs.
Moreover, traders continued to keep a close watch on developments of the Ukraine crisis as the East European country is a major transit nation for supplies from Russia to the European Union.
Russia is an important oil producing country, yielding more than 10 million barrels crude a day in January. It is also the second-largest producer of natural gas. More than 70 percent of Russian crude and gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved down 1.46 dollars to settle at 101.12 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery lost 92 cents to close at 108.08 dollars a barrel.