Oil prices rose 1% today following strong Chinese exports and a report revealing a larger-than-expected decline in US crude stocks.

China showed positive signs as its exports grew 50% in May compared with the same period in 2009, according to Reuters.

US crude stocks fell 4.5 million barrels last week, more than four times the expected levels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said.

The fall in US crude stocks was matched by an equivalent surge in product supplies with petrol stocks posting an increase of 1.5 million barrels and distillates, according to the API.

US crude for July delivery increased 69¢ to stand at $72.68 a barrel at 06.27 GMT, while July ICE Brent traded at parity up 36¢ at $72.66.