Oil prices rise as China plans to ship crude oil from US

17 August 2020 (Last Updated August 17th, 2020 10:38)

Oil prices have inched higher after China reportedly plans to import high volumes of the US crude in August and September.

Oil prices rise as China plans to ship crude oil from US
Record crude imports from China and the easing of coronavirus-related lockdowns globally have supported oil costs. Credit: Jnzl’s Photos via Flickr.

Oil prices have inched higher after China plans to import high volumes of the US crude in August and September.

Brent crude futures rose by $0.21 to reach $45.01 while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased by $0.27 to settle at $42.28 a barrel, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, China’s state-owned oil companies have conditionally ordered tankers to ship 20 million barrels of US crude oil for this month and next month.

Oil prices were supported by record crude imports from China and the easing of coronavirus-related lockdowns worldwide.

However, new waves of the Covid-19 across many countries are anticipated to impact consumption once more.

ANZ estimated that fuel demand rose by eight million barrels per day (Mbpd) over the past four months to 88Mbpd. Demand is still 13Mbpd lower when compared with the same time last year.

Meanwhile, investors are awaiting future supply decision from a panel meeting representing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and its allies, known as OPEC+.

The panel meeting was postponed by a day to 19 August, than earlier planned.

Known as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), the panel monitors OPEC+ supply cuts agreed earlier this year.

Last month, the JMMC recommended that the production cuts be eased from 1 August to 7.7Mbpd, from a reduction of 9.7Mbpd from May until July.

Energy firms in the US had decreased the number of operating oil and natural gas rigs to a record low for the 15th week.

According to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes, US oil rigs fell by four to 172 in the week ending 14 August.