Oil futures returned to growth on Friday based on China’s optimistic figures. Crude oil imports from China grew 7.3 percent in 2020, with record flows reported in two out of four quarters. Market participants have commended the potential for a new US economic stimulus program proposed by President-elect Joe Biden.
The high rates of COVID-19 cases in the Asian region tempered hope. China posted the highest incidence of cases over the last 10 months in the middle of the week. Even, because of the disease in European countries, stringent restrictive policies exist.
WTI futures were signed and ended up in the neighborhood of $52.36 a barrel after losing -2.26% while Brent remained around $55.1 after falling by -2.24%. There is no justification for the rally to be continued. In comparison, the existing levels seem too ambitious and do not take into consideration the future challenges facing the global economy on the road to recovery. The quotes can stabilize shortly in a sideways range just below the present levels.
Another monthly update on the oil market has been released by OPEC analysts. The global demand outlook for 2021 was unchanged at 95.91 million barrels per day (an increase of 5.9 million barrels per day by 2020). China, as well as India and a host of Asia-Pacific nations, will be the key drivers of demand growth this year. Positive dynamics would lead to a steady rise in the world’s economic growth, as well as to an increase in demand for petrochemical raw materials, states OPEC.
In December, the amount of implementation of the OPEC+ contract by OPEC countries dropped from 104 percent a month earlier to 102 percent.