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November 8, 2018

Oil prices rise after Chinese crude imports hit record high

Oil prices have increased in the wake of record Chinese crude imports, but forecasts have shown that global supply is set to grow at a greater pace than previously anticipated.

Oil prices have increased in the wake of record Chinese crude imports, but forecasts have shown that global supply is set to grow at a greater pace than previously anticipated.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, increased by 71 cents to reach $72.78 per barrel, while US crude futures rose 55 cents to stand at $62.22 a barrel, Reuters reported.

The rise in the prices comes after this week’s three-week lows.

Based on customs data, China’s crude imports jumped 32% last month in comparison to the same period a year ago to 9.61 million barrels per day (Mbpd), easing concerns that Beijing’s crude demand may be becoming weaker.

“OPEC and Russia may use cuts to support $70 per barrel.”

PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Crude oil prices are being supported by a jump in October Chinese crude oil imports. Thirst for the black stuff has increased amongst domestic teapot refiners.”

Meanwhile, data showed that US crude production touched a new record high of 11.6Mbpd. US output is also expected to grow far more quickly next year.

The US has now become the world’s largest oil producer, overtaking Russia. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the output to be more than 12Mbpd by the middle of next year due to rising shale production.

Production is also rising in other countries, including Russia; Saudi Arabia; Iraq; and Brazil, and threatens to surpass demand next year.

Despite US sanctions targeting import of oil from Tehran, investors hold the view that there is more than enough supply to meet demand.

Saxo Bank commodity strategy head Ole Hansen told Reuters: “OPEC and Russia may use cuts to support $70 per barrel.”

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