The industry struggled with global crude oil surplus and sharp coronavirus-driven decline in demand, while oil prices softened on Thursday. According to April data, despite the increase in imports to China, the outlook is still scary.
Brent crude LCOc1 was down by 24 cents, or 0.8%, to $29.48 a barrel by 0649 GMT, after dropping 4% on Wednesday.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 dropped 34 cents, or 1.4%, to $23.65 a barrel, having declined more than 2% in the previous session.
Both contracts rose and fell throughout the Asian session, some markets, including Singapore, are on holiday.
Oil continued to be pumped to tanks, without a balance yet, between demand and supply. Prices have been rising since the end of April as some countries began to ease the restrictions on combating the worst epidemic in a century. This is not based on data, but an increase in market sentiment, which is only caused by positive weather.
Oil prices have received support from data showing that China’s crude imports rose last month. According to data in the first four months of 2020, imports rose from 9.68 million bpd in March to 10.42 million barrels (bpd) in April.
US Crude Oil Inventories USOILC = ECI increased by 4.6 million barrels last week, had 15th week rose.
This is less than analysts’ estimates that they expect an increase of 7.8 million barrels, but if the reason for the increase in price is related to this, it is on the right track. Distilled stocks also rose sharply.
Nevertheless, gasoline stocks dropped in the second week, as travel restrictions that drastically reduced vehicle traffic in some US states were eased.