Crude oil prices have increased for the first time in eight days after Chinese imports witnessed an increase in December 2015.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 20 cents at $31.06 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 increased 26 cents at $30.70 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Data released by General Administration of Customs revealed that Chinese crude imports during December 2015 increased to a record 7.82 million barrels representing a rise of over 21% from November 2015.

"China increased imports by 8.8% in 2015 to 334 million tonnes."

China increased imports by 8.8% in 2015 to 334 million tonnes.

American Petroleum Institute (API) data found that crude stocks in the US during the week fell by 3.9 million barrels to 480.071 million.

This is against analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.5 million barrels.

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On Tuesday, the US Government forecast that oversupply globally will swell until 2017.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said increased oil output from Iran would add to the oversupply in 2016 following the lifting of Western sanctions.

Image: The US WTI CLc1 increased 26 cents at $30.70 a barrel. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.