Brent crude traded near $108 a barrel today, steadying most of the gains from the previous session due to an unexpected drop in US inventories in the week ending 2 May.
Brent crude fell by 23 cents to $107.90 a barrel, while US oil was down by 22 cents to settle at $100.55, reported Reuters.
Crude prices rose in the previous session after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data revealed that the country’s total stocks fell by 1.8 million barrels last week, and the stocks at the Cushing delivery point in Oklahoma also fell by 1.4 million barrels.
In the previous session, oil prices were supported by Chinese customs data, which showed that crude imports in the world’s second biggest oil user jumped to a record high, offering good news for China’s slowing economy.
China’s crude imports increased by 22.4% in April compared with March, and the data also showed that total exports rose against forecasts for decline.
In April, China’s total exports rose by 0.9%, while imports rose 0.8%, leaving the country with a trade surplus of $18.5bn for the month, against expectations of a trade surplus of $13.9bn.
Global oil prices received further support after Libyan rebels occupying major oil ports in the east said on Wednesday that they would boycott Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and keep two major export terminals shut.
Image: Crude prices were up by more than $1 on Wednesday as US crude stocks drop. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick.