Oil prices that saw a drop of around 5% on Monday remained steady on Tuesday, backed by strong commodity import data from China, despite economic weakness.

Brent futures rose 31 cents to $41.04 a barrel, while US crude traded at $37.82, Reuters reported.

Preliminary customs data revealed that Crude oil imports in China increased 8.7% to 6.61 million barrels per day for the first 11 months of 2015, and November’s crude imports rose 7.6% from the same month in 2014.

"The biggest factor for the future path of fuel prices remains the crude oil price."

The country is expected to double its strategic crude oil purchases in 2016, and add around 70 to 90 million barrels to its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR).

Despite slight recovery, currencies such as the Canadian dollar and the Norwegian crown remained under pressure, while the yen and the euro performed well.

The commodity is already under pressure after the OPEC countries ended their meet last week without agreeing to cut production, adding to the concerns of a global glut.

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As the oil cartel looks to kill competition from the US shale industry, the prices of crude on Monday fell $2 a barrel to the lowest level since economic recession.

On Friday, the OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $38.08 a barrel, compared with $37.89 the previous day.

Schneider Electric energy industry analyst David Hunter said: "The biggest factor for the future path of fuel prices remains the crude oil price. If it continues to fall, and sterling holds its value against the dollar, then further reductions at the pumps are possible.

"A falling oil price, amid dramatic supply shifts from east to west, has set the stage for a transformation of our energy dependencies, and a push for a cleaner solution.

"There’s a huge opportunity for governments that subsidise fossil fuels to reduce or remove subsidies while prices are lower."