Oil spot price: Chinese oil imports rise markedly in November

on Dec 9, 2013
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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_iNVEZZ.com: Monday, December 9th:_

**Crude oil**
West Texas Intermediate oil continues to trade close to its six-week high today, at around $98 a barrel, being at $97.64 as this item goes to press. Brent crude is currently trading at $110.71, with the spread between the two down to almost $13.00 a barrel.
WTI closed last week’s trading with its biggest gain since July on expectations for higher demand following robust employment data from the United States, the world’s top oil consumer. The US unemployment rate fell to 7.0 percent in November, reaching its lowest level in five years. WTI pricing was also supported by lower US crude oil inventories and speculation on the timing for opening of the Keystone Pipeline. And the decline in Brent pricing shrank the spread with the US benchmark to $14 per barrel.

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WTI is currently trading up on news that the People’s Republic of China increased its oil imports in November, affording solid evidence of continuing recovery in the world’s second-largest oil consuming economy. According to the State Customs Administration, oil imports rose by 19.1 percent to 5.73 million barrels a day last month (23.56 million tonnes), to reverse a 14-month low.

China’s November Trade Balance checked in today with an increased surplus to $33.8 billion from $31.1 billion in October. The Chinese Consumer Price Index was up three percent in November, less than October’s 3.2 percent. The Producer Price Index contracted 1.4 percent in November, versus the decrease of 1.5 percent in October.


According to ICE Futures, Europe hedge funds and other money managers are raising bullish bets on Brent crude for a third straight week. The number of speculative wagers that prices will go up, in both futures and options, was higher than short positions which were 131,416 lots less in the week ended 3 December. The ICE scored a rise of 1,655 contracts, or 1.3 percent, which is the highest level since the week ended 22 October.

**Natural gas**
Presently, natural gas is at $4.189 per 1,000 cubic feet, after earlier in today’s trading reaching its highest point since late May, at $4.209. The fuel last week gained around 4.3 percent on the back of a bigger than expected decline in US natural gas inventories, which fell by 162 billion cubic feet during the week ended 6 December, against expectations for a drop of 138 billion cubic feet and the drop of 62 billion cubic feet in the same week of 2012. Total US natural gas inventories stood at 3.614 trillion cubic feet for the reported week.
The forecast for continuing cold winter weather also supported the pricing uptick.
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