Crude Oil Rises Over High Demand Expectations In US, China

The world’s two largest oil users, China and the US, showed statistics indicating increasing hunger for oil on Thursday, which helped drive up oil prices. The price of a barrel of Brent oil was $83.86, up 0.34% from the previous trading session’s closing price of $83.58.

At the same moment, the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $79.39 a barrel, up 0.51% from the previous session’s closing price of $78.99 per barrel.

According to data issued late on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), US commercial crude oil stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels to 459.5 million barrels during the week ending May 3. This reduction was in line with market predictions of a 1.43 million-barrel decline.

Last month, China raised its purchases of petroleum to 10.88 million barrels per day, up 5.45% year-on-year, according to China’s customs data released on Thursday.

OPEC’s latest oil market report forecasts a rise of 680,000 barrels per day in China’s demand this year, signaling a positive demand outlook for the rest of the year.

The demand surge among the world’s largest oil consumers supports the upward movement in oil prices. Meanwhile, ongoing cease-fire talks in the Gaza Strip are curtailing price rises.

The talks are continuing in Cairo in the presence of delegations from Qatar, the US and the Palestinian group Hamas. Hamas said on Monday evening that it had accepted a Gaza cease-fire proposal drawn up by Egypt and Qatar.

An Egyptian news channel said Wednesday that ‘notable consensuses’ had been reached on contentious points in the talks in Cairo on reaching a cease-fire in the region.

US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 0.3% during the week ending May 3, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late on Wednesday.

Inventories fell by about 1.4 million barrels to 459.5 million barrels, compared to the market prediction of a fall of around 1.43 million barrels.

Strategic petroleum reserves, which are excluded from commercial crude stocks, increased by about 900,000 barrels to 367.2 million barrels last week, the data revealed.

Gasoline inventories also rose by approximately 900,000 barrels to 228 million barrels over the same period. EIA data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 8,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 13.52 million bpd during the week ending May 3.

US crude oil imports rose by 198,000 bpd to about 6.96 million bpd, and exports increased by 550,000 bpd to approximately 4.46 million bpd over the same period.

In the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released on April 9, the EIA predicted that crude oil output in the country would reach an average of 13.21 million bpd this year. Next year, crude oil output in the country is expected to reach 13.72 million bpd.

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