Oil prices advance as China ramps up U.S. crude imports
Oil prices rose on Monday as China’s plans to ship in large volumes of U.S. crude in August and September outweighed concerns over a slowdown in demand recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and an uptick in supplies, according to Reuters.
Brent crude LCOc1 added 30 cents, or 0.7%, to $45.10 a barrel by 0410 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 34 cents, or 0.8%, to $42.35 a barrel.
Chinese state-owned oil firms have tentatively booked tankers to transport at least 20 million barrels of U.S. crude for August and September, Reuters reported on Friday, as China ramped up energy and farm purchases ahead of a review of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.
Record crude imports from the world’s top importer and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions globally have supported oil prices, although new waves of coronavirus outbreaks in several countries are expected to cool consumption again.
Investors are looking for more clues on future supply from a meeting this week of a panel representing ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+. The meeting of the panel has been pushed back to Aug. 19, a day later than previously planned.
The panel, called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), monitors OPEC+ production curbs agreed earlier this year. Last month the JMMC recommended that cuts be eased from Aug. 1 to about 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from a reduction of 9.7 million bpd since May, in line with an earlier OPEC+ agreement.