Global crude oil prices have edged up with Brent heading towards $70 a barrel as economic recovery in China gathers momentum, raising demand for fuel.
Brent crude futures for May increased $0.23, or 0.3%, to reach $69.45 a barrel, whereas the US West Texas Intermediate crude for April reached $65.90 a barrel, an increase by $0.29, or 0.4%, reported Reuters.
Refinery sources told the news agency that Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter, agreed on loading crude supply cuts in April to at least four buyers in north Asia by up to 15%. However, the supply would meet the Indian refiners’ monthly requirements.
Earlier this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, decided to maintain supply cuts in April.
Meanwhile, investors are anticipating positive economic data from China that would support stronger demand growth in the world’s second-largest oil-consuming country.
CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy was cited by Reuters as saying: “China data due today could be highly influential.
“Both industrial production and retail sales are expected to show very strong bounces, largely due to the year on year compassion with a Lunar New Year holiday and lockdown affected period last year.”
Research company IIR Energy said that the weekly capacity of the oil refiners increased by 1.6 million barrels per day in the US as more plants resumed production following outages during the winter storm last month in Texas.