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China's Rising Oil Demand Leads to Strong Weekly Gains

Chinese demand for oil has led to a strong weekly gain for oil prices.


Brent crude futures rose by 53 cents, or 0.6%, to $84.56 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 55 cents, or 0.7%, to $78.94 a barrel. Brent has jumped 7.6% so far this week and WTI is up 7%, recouping most of last week's losses.

China's Fuel Demand Recovery

Recent Chinese crude purchases and a pick-up in road traffic has fueled confidence in a demand recovery in China following the reopening of its borders and easing of COVID-19 curbs after protests last year. In another encouraging sign, ANZ analysts said a congestion index covering the 15 Chinese cities with the largest number of vehicle registrations had risen 31% from a week earlier.

Oil Prices Buoyed by Dollar Slide and Interest Rate Expectations

Oil prices have also been buoyed by a slide in the dollar to a nearly nine-month low, after data showed U.S. inflation fell for the first time in 2-1/2 years, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of rate hikes. A weaker greenback tends to boost demand for oil, as it makes the commodity cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.