Oil prices rose today on the heels of strong Chinese import data, broadly ignoring Middle East tensions that have not yet disrupted oil supplies. Brent crude rose to $ 63.82 a barrel, near its highest level since yesterday, while US crude rose to $ 60.42 a barrel.
China's exports grew at a strong pace in March in another sign of the country's economic recovery as global demand rebounded amid advances in coronavirus vaccines around the world, while import growth jumped to the highest level in four years.
Crude oil imports to China jumped 21% in March from the same period a year earlier, as refineries ramped up operations.
A preliminary poll conducted by Reuters on Monday showed that crude oil inventories in the United States are expected to decline last week for the third week in a row, and the US Energy Information Administration said yesterday that despite this, US oil production from seven major shale formations is expected to rise for the third month.
The Yemeni Houthi group, allied with Iran, said yesterday, Monday, that it launched 17 drones and two ballistic missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including facilities belonging to Saudi Aramco in Jubail and Jeddah, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi officials.
The slowing rate of vaccinations in Europe and the expectation of additional supplies of oil from Iran in the coming months limited price gains.