Investing.com – Oil prices continued to recover in morning trade in Asia, supported by expectations of higher global demand and higher imports from China.
futures for March delivery were trading up 0.56% at $59.62 at mid-morning in Asia on Feb. 13.
Meanwhile, futures for April delivery were trading up 0.45% to $63.01 on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.
The mild increases followed comments from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The group said on Monday that it expects oil demand to grow faster than originally anticipated this year due to a health global economy. OPEC now expects demand to rise by 1.59 million barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 60,000 bpd.
The positive forecast could lend renewed support for oil. WTI oil for March delivery hit a high of $66.14 in late January before plummeting to below $60 at the beginning of February.
Balancing out OPEC’s optimistic outlook was an increase in the output now expected from non-OPEC countries. This non-OPEC production is now expected to rise by 320,000 bpd more than expected to 59.26 million bpd this year.
Analysts expect data from the American Petroleum Institute and the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday will show that crude stockpiles in the US increased by 2.6 million barrels but distillates are expected to fall by 1.625 million barrels and gasoline stocks are forecast to increase by 1.367 million barrels.
After a bad beginning of February, oil prices got a boost last week from China export data. Chinese export growth beat expectations in January growing 11.1% year on year, according to the General Administration of Customs. The final data easily beat median forecasts. Imports jumped an even more impressive 36.9%, far above the expected 9.8% increase.
A big portion of the increase may have been due to increase imports of oil. China imported some 40 million tons of oil in January, up 7 million tons from December.
Sharply higher demand from China, if continued, is likely to support global oil prices.
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