Oil prices rose again on Friday, still spurred on by the prospect of China’s economic awakening and the start of the New Year festivities, which are expected to boost demand.
The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in March rose 1.70%, to close at 87.63 dollars.
As for the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, which was the last trading day, it gained 1.21% to 81.31 dollars, its highest closing level for two months.
It was the eighth positive session for WTI in ten trading days.
“The optimism about the reopening of China has allowed crude prices to have a good week,” commented, in a note, Edward Moya, of Oanda.
“The start of the New Year will be closely monitored to ensure that travel is as strong as many anticipate. »
The New Year’s Eve of the Rabbit takes place on Saturday, but the festivities will last for several weeks.
Matt Smith of Kpler spoke of high kerosene consumption figures in China, “not so surprising for a country that has been in lockdown for three years”.
Aircraft rental company Avolon estimated this week that the lifting of health restrictions in China should allow global air traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels by next June.
For Robert Yawger, of Mizuho, the firmness of prices is also due to tensions on the market for refined products, diesel in particular.
Part of the shortfall could be filled by the United States, but American stocks of distilled products, including diesel, are nearly 10% lower than their level last year at the same time, “a level
dangerously low,” according to Robert Yawger.
In addition, “we are not refining a lot of distillates at the moment” in the United States, underlines the analyst, because the refineries are not yet fully recovered from the effects of the winter storm Elliott, which has
disrupted the oil industry.
The sector is also entering the period marked by maintenance operations, which reduce refining capacities.