The price of oil fell nearly 2 percent Thursday as the global economic slowdown took a toll on China.

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer behind the U.S., has been propping up oil demand as its economy expanded. But a drop in its export growth last month showed that it’s been affected by the sluggish U.S. and European economies. Consumers are spending less and buying fewer Chinese products. If China’s exports continue to cool off, its economy will slow and its appetite for oil will diminish.

“We’re interconnected,” independent analyst Andrew Lipow said. “A slowdown in consumption in the U.S. and Europe is being felt over there.”