Oil steadies as China imports bounce

Oil steadies as China imports bounce

Oil prices steadied on Thursday as China’s crude imports bounced, but analysts expect prices to be capped due to oversupply and weak demand.

Brent crude climbed 0.1%, or 3 cents, at $29.75 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained 0.2%, or 4 cents, at $24.03 per barrel. 

Both contracts were in rocky trade early morning with several markets on holiday.

Chinese crude imports rose to 10.42 million bpd in April, a significant increase from 9.68 million bpd in March.

Despite the recent rise in oil prices, demand and supply remain mismatched due to the filling of oil reserves.

U.S. crude inventories climbed by 4.6 million barrels, smaller than the analyst forecasts of 7.8 million-barrel increase. Distillate inventories also surged, while gasoline stocks plunged.

Some oil producers are reported to be struggling to implement the record output cut agreed by OPEC and its allies. Iraq has not told its customers about the new conditions of its oil exports.

OPEC and its allies including Russia have agreed to slash output to support oil prices amid collapse in demand.

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