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Oil Price Rises Above $31 As Demand Gradually Increases

On Wednesday, oil price rose above $31 per barrel, raising hopes for economic recovery as some countries ease coronavirus lockdowns.

Brent crude has almost doubled since it hit a 21-year low on April 22, as there are expectations that demand will recover and also, a supply cut led by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may be recorded.

Brent LCOc1 was up 79 cents, at $31.76 a barrel at 0930 GMT, having risen in the past six sessions.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 added 88 cents, or 3.6 per cent, to $25.44.

Naeem Aslam, an analyst at Avatrade. said, “Clearly, the optimism of the re-opening of the global economy has supported the oil rally.’’

The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 8.4 million barrels last week, more than analysts expected.

“We’re talking about normalisation of supply and demand but we’ve got a long way to go,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Bank’s Head of Commodity Strategy.

Italy, Spain, Nigeria and India as well as some U.S. states, began allowing some people to go back to work and opened up construction sites, parks and libraries.

Germany’s federal government and 16 states have agreed on ways to ease the lockdown.

The easing of lockdowns should lead to a recovery in global oil demand, which in April was expected to collapse by at least 20 per cent, an unprecedented drop, as governments told people to stay at home.

To tackle the resulting glut, OPEC and its allies agreed to a record oil output cut of 9.7 million barrels per day, about 10 per cent of pre-coronavirus demand.

That reduction began on May 1.

For now, though, soaring inventories are a reminder of excess supply lingering in the market.

Traders will be looking for confirmation of the API’s inventory report when the official U.S. government figures from the Energy Information Administration come out later on Wednesday.

“We would tend to agree that the market has bottomed out, but would caution against getting overly excited about this,’’ said analysts at JBC Energy.

“The data trundling in for April really is shockingly bad.’’

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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