Crude oil prices higher in Asian trade
Crude prices rose further in Asia Tuesday on forecasts U.S. shale oil production will decline and hopes the Chinese government will roll out a stimulus package for the slowing economy.
A drop in U.S. production is expected to help ease the supply glut that has sent oil prices collapsing since June last year, while a stimulus package could boost demand in China, the world’s biggest energy user, analysts said.
U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery gained 45 cents to US$52.36 while Brent crude for May rose 51 US$58.44 in midday trade.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday shale oil output could decline in May, which Bloomberg News said was the first time the agency had projected a drop since it began issuing a monthly drilling productivity report in 2013.
U.S. crude stockpiles, a closely watched barometer of demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation, are currently at record levels and Lennox said that he expects it to further increase.
Meanwhile, a decline in China’s
to trade data in March has stoked expectations of a stimulus package to boost the slowing economy.
Exports fell an unexpected 15.0 percent year-on-year in March to US$144.57 billion, the General Administration of Customs said, while imports tumbled 12.7 percent to US$141.49 billion.
In its latest forecasts for the region released Monday, the World Bank said China’s economy should expand by 7.1 percent in 2015, slower than the 7.2 percent rate projected in October and down from last year’s 7.4 percent growth.